Banana Bottom Additional Summary

Claude McKay


(Literary Essentials: African American Literature)

Cobham, Rhonda. “Jekyll and Claude: The Erotics of Patronage in Claude McKay’s Banana Bottom.” In Queer Diasporas, edited by Cindy Patton and Benigno Sánchez-Eppler. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2000. Reads Banana Bottom from the point of view of queer literary theory, emphasizing the role of whiteness in his novel and the use of the patronage relationship as a coded representation of homosexuality.

Cooper, Wayne F. Claude McKay: Rebel Sojourner in the Harlem Renaissance. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1987. Major biography, primarily intended to show that although McKay was an important figure among Harlem Renaissance writers, he was in no way typical of the group but disagreed with them in important ways. A sound and illuminating work.

Cooper, Wayne F. Introduction to The Passion of Claude McKay: Selected Poetry and Prose, 1912-1948, edited by Wayne F. Cooper. New York: Schocken Books, 1973. Excellent summary of McKay’s life and his literary development. Considers Banana Bottom the high point of McKay’s novels.

Davis, Arthur P. From the Dark Tower: Afro-American Writers, 1900 to 1960. Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1974. Sees McKay’s primary theme, “the superiority of the primitive black to the middle-class Negro and to the white,” as untenable. Argues that despite McKay’s obvious talent, little of his work will last. In...

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