Home Boulder Buzz “Romance in Marseille”: Notes On a Legend

“Romance in Marseille”: Notes On a Legend

When a long-overlooked novel by a famous Harlem Renaissance author was finally published after 87 years, we can assume literary scholars—including some from CU Boulder—were more than a little excited.

Claude McKay (1890–1948) was a Jamaican-American writer and poet who penned the novel “Romance in Marseille” in 1933. Deemed too controversial for its time because of its topics including disability, sex, Islam, slavery, lesbians, gender-bending, socialism and more, the book sat unpublished until 2020, when Penguin Random House ran its first printing. Since then, scholars have been busy analyzing McKay’s novel in the context of his own time, and through the lens of more recent racial justice and other social movements.

The academic journal English Language Notes recently featured a collection of essays about the novel, curated by CU Boulder and published by Duke University Press. Read the essays at read.dukeupress.edu/english-language-notes.

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