In 1937, Chester Himes, newly released from a seven-year stretch in the Ohio State Penitentiary, finished his first novel, "Yesterday Will Make You Cry", the autobiographical story of young Jimmy Monroe's passage through the prison system. Even after it was bowdlerized, the work was recognized as a sardonic masterpiece of debasement and ...
In 1937, Chester Himes, newly released from a seven-year stretch in the Ohio State Penitentiary, finished his first novel, "Yesterday Will Make You Cry", the autobiographical story of young Jimmy Monroe's passage through the prison system. Even after it was bowdlerized, the work was recognized as a sardonic masterpiece of debasement and transfiguration. Now this classic is available in a new edition, complete and unexpurgated, with its raw honesty and startling compassion entirely intact.
New. This item is printed on demand. First published in reduced and bowdlerized form in 1952 as Cast the First Stone, Yesterday Will Make You Cry was Chester Himes's first, most powerful, and autobiographical novel. This Old School Books edition presents it f.
This book was awesome, I cry not only for yesterday, but today!! You have to read it from the beginning and keep reminding yourself what the title says, it goes beyond the hip hop,urban street,hard core books it tells a beautiful story,it's life education in itself.U have to understand, this book goes beyond racism,and prison life,it tells a story which goes deep in everyone heart and soul,because everyone have or will have some thoughts & feelings of this story. I cried almost all the way thru the book, this character went thru alot. Sometimes, u never know what u will do thru life struggles, so were no better than the next person, but thru it all sooner or later we go thru struggles and we all cry for yesterday and today. ? Add a tag »
Publishers Weekly, 1997-11-24 Written in 1937, this was the late African American writer Himes's first novel. Its frank and graphic rendering of taboo topics effectively made it unpublishable at the time, however. The autobiographical narrative clearly pictures Depression-era prison brutality, and its frank and affecting depictions of prison-bound homosexual romantic love were too raw for contemporary audiences and its hybrid styleśpart pulp-crime novel, part introspective character studyśws also ahead of its time. Over the next 16 years, Himes was forced to revise the book four times, and a very different version was published in 1952 as Cast the First Stone. This edition restores the work to its original form and chronicles the directionless life of Jimmy Monroe, a smart loser born poor, white and rural, who bounces self-destructively through life until sentenced to 20 years in prison for robbery. Himes (who spent seven years in prison) masterfully presents the arbitrary violence (from both inmates and guards), the corruption, the regularity of unlamented death, the uneasy relations of the races and the psychological elongation of prison time ("Each moment was absolute, like a still photograph"). Yet it is the depiction of Monroe's love affairsśtheir comic absurdity, obsessive intensity and transformative emotional depthświth the manipulative Lively, and finally with the pathological but genuinely loving Rico, that mark the book as both a superior prison novel and a moving fictional record of the perseverance of humanity amidst unrelenting degradation. (Feb.)
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