Langston Hughes (1902-67) was born in Joplin, Missouri, was educated at Lincoln University, and lived for most of his life in New York City. He is best known as a poet, but he also wrote novels, biography, history, plays, and children's books. Among his works are two volumes of memoirs, The Big Sea and I Wonder as I Wander, and two collections of Simple stories, The Best of Simple and The Return of Simple.
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Akiba Sullivan Harper is a professor of English at Spelman College and the editor of The Return of Simple.
Arnold Rampersad, Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature at Princeton