The Grey Album: Music, Shadows, Lies

Kevin Young, Author
Kevin Young. Graywolf, $25 trade paper (476p) ISBN 978-1-55597-607-1
Reviewed on: 01/09/2012
Release date: 03/13/2012
Ebook - 476 pages - 978-1-55597-042-0
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In this elegant and informative study, poet and English professor, Young weaves a saga of African-American culture, in particular literature and music. Young moves through slave narratives and spirituals and beatniks and funk in a multifaceted yet coherent work comprising history, analysis, and theory. Young offers fresh, incisive assessments of myriad writers and musicians, performers all of the storytelling and counterfeiting conventions and traditions. He focuses on George Moses Horton, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Langston Hughes before shifting the focus to music, where his attention encompasses, among other genres, be-bop and hip-hop, the blues, and soul music. He includes unlikely figures throughout in this “story of what I read, heard, and saw at the crossroads of African American and American culture”: Eliot, Pound, Picasso; the cakewalk, the quilt; the Rolling Stones. (Mar.)
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