Allen, Hervey. Du Bose Heyward: A Critical and Biographical Sketch. 1927. Reprint. Folcroft, Pa.: Folcroft Press, 1970. A brief portrait that includes contemporary estimates of his work.
Alpert, Hollis. The Life and Times of Porgy and Bess: The Story of an American Classic. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990. Alpert tells the interesting story—flavored with the spirit of the 1920’s and 1930’s—of how Heyward wrote Porgy as a novel, how his wife turned it into a hit play, and how George Gershwin presented his own version in 1935.
Clark, Emily. “DuBose Heyward.” The Virginia Quarterly Review 6 (October, 1930): 546-556. A recollection of Heyward by one who knew him through the Poetry Society of South Carolina. Clark recalls her first meeting with Heyward and tells of their subsequent correspondence and meetings. Revealing in its anecdotes of racial attitudes.
Durham, Frank. DuBose Heyward: The Man Who Wrote “Porgy.” 1954. Reprint. Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1965. The first book-length study of Heyward. The introduction, “Young Man in an Old City,” provides excellent background material, and three chapters deal well with Heyward and the theater: “Porgy on Stage,” “Porgy and George Gershwin,” and “Mamba and Ethel Waters.”
Harrigan, Anthony. “DuBose Heyward: Memorialist and Realist.” The Georgia Review 5 (1951): 335-344. Harrigan identifies Heyward as “the finest expression of the Southern literary genius” and finds this genius expressed not in mythmaking about the South but in convincing representations of the Charleston culture in which he thrived.
Hutchisson, James M. DuBose Heyward: A Charleston Gentleman and the World of “Porgy and Bess.” Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2000. Hutchisson describes the world in which Heyward lived—Charleston, North Carolina—and how it influenced his writing. He portrays him as a promoter of southern writing and a progressive interested in helping African Americans.
Slavick, William H. DuBose Heyward. Boston: Twayne, 1981. Slavick is excellent at depicting the Charleston world in which Heyward flourished. The cultural history is presented in “A Charleston Gentleman and the World of Letters,” and the Charleston ambience is described in “The Irony of Freedom in Charleston: Porgy.” The dramatization of Mamba’s Daughters is analyzed in “The Rhythms of Charleston: Mamba’s Daughters.”
Watson, Charles S. The History of Southern Drama. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1997. Watson devotes a chapter to a discussion of Heyward in his history of drama in the South.