Infants of the Spring

Infants of the Spring


In this satire which shows the role of black writers and artists during the American Renaissance of the 1920s, Wallace Thurman proved himself to be a black writer who suffered no fools of any color, a modern satirist who, as re­publication here shows, was very much ahead of his time. Thurman was a novelist, ghost writer, editor of two Harlem magazines, and a playwright. His satire, derived from close personal observation, was directed primarily at the Harlem or Negro Re­naissance, which began in 1925. As John A. Williams points out in his Afterword to this new edition, Thurman and “nearly everyone with artistic as­pirations came to New York then, black and white; those were the merging days of the Harlem Renaissance, the Lost Generation, and the Jazz Age—really one extended explosion of American lit­erature, and there were influences passed between the groups.” The Renaissance flourished through 1929, then faded. Thurman’s satire came too late—1932, after its main target, the Harlem Renaissance, lay shrouded in the Great Depression woe that obscured or proclaimed frivolous all but proletarian art. Yet Infants of the Spring, stillborn then, lives today. By re-creating the bohemian lives of black artists of the 1920s, Thur­man corrects the assumption that one of America’s most creative decades owes its energy to whites alone.

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Wallace Thurman, Author John A Williams, Professor Matthew J Bruccoli
Hardback | 320 pages
140 x 216 x 25mm
Publication date
01 Mar 1979
Southern Illinois University Press