Historical Context

(Novels for Students)

The Great Migration
Between about 1890 and 1930, some two-anda- half million African Americans moved from the American South to...

(The entire section is 999 words.)

Literary Style

(Novels for Students)

Scenic Method
Tambourines to Glory is a short novel—barely one hundred pages in the Collected Works of Langston...

(The entire section is 998 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

Bontemps, Arna, “How the Money Rolled In!” in New York Herald Tribune Books, December 7, 1958, p. 4.

Clarke, Marion Turner, “Selected New Books in Review: Fiction of Harlem, Ireland, Maine,” in Baltimore Evening Sun, November 21, 1958, p. 28.

Gehman, Richard, “Free, Free Enterprise,” in Saturday Review, Vol. 41, No. 47, November 22, 1958, p. 19.

Hughes, Langston, “Goodbye Christ,” in The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, edited by Arnold Rampersad,

Knopf, pp. 166–67; originally published in Negro Worker, November–December 1932, p. 32.

—, Tambourines to Glory, in The Collected Works of Langston Hughes: The Novels, Vol. 4, edited by Dolan Hubbard, University of Missouri Press, 2001, pp. 211-325.

Jones, LeRoi, Review of Tambourines to Glory, in Jazz Review, Vol. 2, June 1959, p. 34.

Millstein, Gilbert, Review of Tambourines to Glory, in Langston Hughes: Critical Perspectives Past and Present, edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and K. A. Appiah, Amistad Press, 1993, p. 39; originally published in the New York Times Book Review, November 23, 1958, p. 51.

Sullivan, Marty, “‘Folk Tale’ of Harlem is Praised,” in Fort Wayne News Sentinel, November 22, 1958, p. 4.

Williams, Roland L., Jr., “Respecting the Folk,” in Journal of Modern Literature, Vol. 24, Nos. 3–4. Summer 2001, p. 534.

Further Reading
Emanuel, James, Langston Hughes, Twayne, 1967. The first book-length study of Hughes and his work, this volume offers a solid introduction to the writer’s major themes, although it focuses on the poetry more than on the prose and mentions Tambourines to Glory only in passing. It includes a chronology of important dates and an annotated bibliography.

Hughes, Langston, and Milton Meltzer, A Pictorial History of the Negro in America, Crown, 1956. Hughes wrote the text to accompany an extensive collection of photographs, cartoons, graphic art, and other illustrations accumulated by Meltzer. The book is arranged chronologically, beginning with the slave trade, and includes several illustrations from Harlem and the Harlem Renaissance.

Miller, R. Baxter, Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks: A Reference Guide, G. K. Hall, 1978. The half of this book concerning Hughes includes a critical overview that covers responses to all of Hughes’s writings, as well as a comprehensive annotated listing of major reviews and criticism published between 1924 and 1977.

Ostrom, Hans, A Langston Hughes Encyclopedia, Greenwood Press, 2002. Ostrom explains that each entry in this alphabetically arranged work is intended for a general reader with no particular knowledge about Hughes or the times in which he lived. Included are entries for individual works, as well as for broader topics such as “Harlem” and “religion.”

Rampersad, Arnold, The Life of Langston Hughes, 2 vols., Oxford University Press, 1986–1988. This sweeping and thorough two-volume work is the definitive biography of Langston Hughes. It is also an insightful look at the first three-quarters of the twentieth century. Hughes’s fascination with music is a thread that carries through the biography. Hughes’s working and re-working the material that became Tambourines to Glory in both novel and play forms is detailed in the second volume.

Compare and Contrast

(Novels for Students)

1950s: African Americans are still moving from the rural South to big cities in the North, hoping for good jobs and equal opportunity....

(The entire section is 305 words.)

Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

Research the career of the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. In what ways is she a role model for Essie? What does Laura admire about her?


(The entire section is 255 words.)

Media Adaptations

(Novels for Students)

The novel Tambourines to Glory was adapted by Hughes from his own musical play of the same title, with songs by Jobe Huntley. It was...

(The entire section is 90 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Novels for Students)

The first volume of Hughes’s autobiography, The Big Sea (1940), covers approximately the first thirty years of his life, including...

(The entire section is 214 words.)