Home All 2017 Popular Book Lists

Major Clarence (2017 Most Popular Book Lists)

$5.00
1. Come By Here: My Mother's Life
$45.00
2. Reflex and Bone Structure
$20.60
3. My Amputations
$0.01
4. One Flesh
$10.84
5. Myself Painting
$8.04
6. Calling the Wind: Twentieth Century
$25.59
7. The Garden Thrives: Twentieth-Century
$3.04
8. Necessary Distance: Essays and
 
$12.47
9. Emergency Exit
$111.16
10. Fun & Games: Short Fictions
11. Painted Turtle: Woman with Guitar
 
12. Cotton Club, The
$7.00
13. Such Was the Season: A Novel (Voices
 
14. The syncopated cakewalk
$1.00
15. Surfaces and Masks
 
16. Inside Diameter: The France Poems
$5.00
17. Configurations: New & Selected
$2.06
18. Waiting for Sweet Betty
 
19. The Dark & Feeling: Black
 
20. Symptoms and Madness

2017 buy books shipping

1. Come By Here: My Mother's Life
by Clarence Major
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2002-04-12)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0471415189
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
Lavish praise for come by here

"With elegant simplicity and uncommon wisdom, Clarence Major gives us not just the truth of his mother’s life but the unspoken truth behind the lie of color in the American story. A compelling narrative."
––RillaAskew, author, Fire in Beulah

"A brilliant rendering of a rich and eventful life. With creative insight, love, and admiration, Major shows us how in family life down through the generations, race really matters."
––Andrew Billingsley, author, Climbing Jacob’s Ladder:
The Enduring Legacy of African American Families

Critical acclaim for Clarence Major

"Clarence Major has a remarkable mind and the talent to match."
–– Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate

"One of America’s most gifted and versatile writers."
–– Library Journal ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A compelling memoir of a unique life
I've never read anything else by Clarence Major but he does a splendid job of sharing his mother's compelling life as a light-skinned African-American in the days of segregation. Inez's voice is intimate but honest about what she had to do to survive an abusive husband while keeping her childen safe. Inez's eventual move to Chicago to make a better life for herself and her children is full of rich detail. It is during this time she passes herself off as white in order to get good jobs. Inez's unique perspective as a black woman living in a white world is well worth reading. I was also struck by her continuing goal to bring her children to Chicago and also improve her own life. It is a hard book to put down and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I read this book within a day, and I enjoyed it. Really. I used to feel contempt for those who passed for white, but in order for one to do better economically and have a more comfortable life, you had to do it. In this book, you have a woman born to a white father and black woman, who survives a difficult marriage and goes to Chicago to make a better life for her and her children. Read it and enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Come By Here: My Mother's Life
This intimate look at race and its implications captured me the minute I opened this book. Clarence Major, the well-known poet, has written a beautiful and touching memoir on his mother's story.Although African American, Inez realized she could pass as a white woman with her light skin and was determined to not let Jim Crow laws hinder on her life. She embarks on a double identity in order to help her family. In the end, this sacrifice leads to self-discovery and offers readers an important look at racial challenges in our recent history. ... Read more


2. Reflex and Bone Structure
by Clarence Major
Paperback: 138 Pages (1996-05)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$45.00
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1562790846
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

3. My Amputations
by Clarence Major
Paperback: 224 Pages (2008-01-07)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$20.60
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1573661430
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

4. One Flesh
by Clarence Major
Paperback: 320 Pages (2003-11-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0758204736
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Meant to Be?
John Canoe is an artist essentially living his life in isolation.He sells his work through his affiliation with a cooperative of artists, and also works as a school teacher.While John has many acquaintances, he doesn't have anyone that he can truly call a friend.Early in the book his mother reminds him that at age 33, he needs to be looking for a meaningful relationship so that he can marry and have children.Even in his adulthood John struggles with his identity, his mother is white and his father is black and his experiences with racism from both races have left him wondering where he fits in.John shares a close relationship with his mother, who lives in Chicago, but has a strained relationship with his father, a notable physician, who divorced his mother years ago.

Susie Chang works for a publishing company and is an amateur poet.She is an American born Chinese woman that has more or less been cut off from her family.Susie is constantly at odds with the cultural norms and expectations of her family, even her move across country and away from her family is frowned upon.

Susie and John meet at a Collective opening and it is practically love at first sight.What ensues is a whirlwind relationship wrought with ups and downs ranging from typical relationship issues, such as problems with communication, to more complicated issues like familial rejection.

ONE FLESH had the potential to be a five star book. The primary plot of the story was thorough and fairly unique.My problem with the book was that the author introduced too many subplots that he never resolved.These subplots could have provided interesting twists and turns but instead they acted more like a dangling carrot.I would love to see a sequel that would address some of the unresolved issues and provide an update on John and Susie's relationship.Overall, I enjoyed the book and believe it would make for a great book club discussion.

Reviewed by Stacey Seay
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers ... Read more


5. Myself Painting
by Clarence Major
Paperback: 89 Pages (2008-10)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$10.84
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0807133671
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
In Myself Painting Clarence Major seeks to recreate for readers the inexpressible feeling that comes from creating art with poems that speak not of painting itself, but of its underlying process. Major incorporates the techniques of painting--particularly that of Post-Expressionism--into his verse, describing scenery with an artist's eye and using form and color to evokes striking images: "Desire, artichoke green . . . leaves all radiant, / creating the thickness of blue shadows." A master of highly structured free verse, Major also paints sounds, enthralling the reader in a real world of private symbols and dream visions. Using dynamic, surreal images, this original collection invites readers into the poet's own fascinating world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars how to paint with a pen
the best way to gain rewards from major's book is to approach each poem as though a sketch pad were in hand, a sketch pad or a canvas, paintbrush and easel and to walk along the lines as walking along some littoral of some foreign city, behind you a boardwalk of restaurants and small shops, and you're constantly on the lookout for the scene you will draw or paint. this is how these poems unfold. well, most of them.there are also some bucolic settings unexpectedly joined to the chaotic, the jeering crowd, the riot, the off beaten path in the tourist town leading to where the natives live.

major's reputation for being an abstract expressionist doesn't follow him in myself, painting. even when expressionistic these poems are very accessible and far from being as abstract as, say, any poem by john ashbery. when major writes:

`outside, your red pony chews blue grass.'

is there any doubt he's in kentucky, or even that his red pony evokes the steinbeck title?

clarence major has become the poet of the matter of fact, some poems fit a day book, a daily journal chronicling the everyday experience of nothing in particular .this is his offering to reader, the artist as anyone who happens to be in different cities for no particular reason, but once there wherever he happens to be, be it rome or san francisco, on some beachfront, some shore, or seated at a table in some restaurant where he looks at the scenery,maybe, he imagines,some picture will come out of it.how he imagines is what makes him who he is, clarence major, poet musing on the visible for artistic inspiration and motivation.of the poems directly concerned with artistic inspiration `in search of a motif for expressive female figuration' is the best poem in the collection, and may just be the best poem major's written;`in search of a motif...' is a montage of women, the first three words

`she, the many...'

guiding the reader through numerous guises of one woman or many women.

the final poems in the book `copying', `bad nudes',

we are a roundtable of painters.
we're talking about how to get around
the usual perception of common objects.

`difficult pose', `open session',and `when the model does not show' describe the artist in community with other artists and models.

selections from major's paintings are found on his webpage.major favored blended colors, black edged greens, smoky cranberry reds, mustard yellows, and caramel browns sheened in iridescence, set aglow by sunlight. the cover of myself painting is of one major's beach landscapes, colors of a different palette, the greens are milky, the browns beige, his blues culled from cornflowers and his red cut from a silk red dress.
... Read more


6. Calling the Wind: Twentieth Century African-American Short Stories
Paperback: 656 Pages (1992-10)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$8.04
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0060982012
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
Pivotal stories from post-slavery days through the Harlem Renaissance and into the nineties. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Calling the Wind
I had to read this book during my undergraduate studies.I signed up foran African American Literature course in order to fill another block.Thisclass was excellent because I was able to understand the true meaning ofprotest literature.Many of the authors in this book are the same when itcomes to ethnicity, but very different in their approaches to slavery,Jim-Crowe laws, and freedom.A must read book! ... Read more


7. The Garden Thrives: Twentieth-Century African-American Poetry
Paperback: 512 Pages (1996-02)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$25.59
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0060951214
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Editorial Review

*****
The Garden Thrives: 20th Century African-American Poetry, edited by Clarence Major, collects the best of what African-American poets have to offer. Featuring works that span from the turn of the century through the Harlem Renaissance and the profoundly political 1960s and '70s to the diversity of contemporary society, The Garden Thrives is the first truly comprehensive anthology of 20th-century African-American poetry.

The Garden Thrives showcases luminaries and heretofore lesser-knowns, with pieces by well-known contemporary poets, standouts from the Harlem Renaissance and works from the turn of the century, when many black American poets published to a solely black audience. The Garden Thrives contains the work of nearly 100 poets, including Nobelist Derek Walcott; Pulitzer-winners Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa and Gwendolyn Brooks; Paul Laurence Dunbar; Jean Toomer; Langston Hughes; Arna Bontemps; Countee Cullen; Audre Lorde; Alice Walker; Robert Hayden; Esses Hemphill; Ntozake Shange and Nikki Giovanni.

As the end of the century approaches, The Garden Thrives eloquently demonstrates that African-American poets have been instrumental in defining and advancing the aesthetic of poetry in this country. ... Read more


8. Necessary Distance: Essays and Criticism
by Clarence Major
Paperback: 280 Pages (2001-04-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$3.04
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1566891094
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Editorial Review

*****
This landmark collection brings together critical essays, articles, and reviews by a 1999 National Book Award for Poetry finalist.This book is an impressive look back-and forward-as well as forward from one of our most visionary authors. From essays on the craft of writing, to critiques of contemporary and classic African-American authors and their work, to observations on the quirkiness of the writing and publishing life, Necessary Distance is a compendium of the best prose by an important figure in contemporary American letters. ... Read more


9. Emergency Exit
by Clarence Major
 Paperback: 258 Pages (1979-01-01)
list price: US$12.50 -- used & new: US$12.47
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0914590596
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Editorial Review

*****
experimental novel ... Read more


10. Fun & Games: Short Fictions
by Clarence Major
Hardcover: 144 Pages (1996-01-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$111.16
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0930100344
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
novelist/poet's first collection of short stories ... Read more


11. Painted Turtle: Woman with Guitar
by Clarence Major
Paperback: 64 Pages (2000-05-01)
list price: US$11.95
Isbn: 155713085X
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
first paperback edition of Major's Zuni novel ... Read more


12. Cotton Club, The
by Clarence Major
 Paperback: Pages (1972-01-01)

Asin: B000J2N7JU
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

13. Such Was the Season: A Novel (Voices of the South)
by Clarence Major
Paperback: 224 Pages (2003-02)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$7.00
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0807128651
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
Such Was the Season is the story of an eventful week in the life of an elderly matriarch of a large black family in Atlanta.Annie Eliza narrates the story of "a killer diller" week, with the homecoming of her nephew, Adam "Juneboy" North, a doctor at Yale who has been gone for more than twenty-five years.Following her nephew's arrival Annie Eliza's daughter-in-law declares her intention to run for a seat in the state senate, which is soon disrupted by the threat of scandal involving someone close to her. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Prodigal Nephew
Such Was The Season by Clarence Major is a part of the Voices of the South collection.It features Aunt Annie Eliza who tells the story about what happened the week her nephew Junebug, now Dr. Adam North, came to visit.He had not been to Atlanta since he was a teenager and Annie Eliza proudly lets everyone know he is now a doctor.Not only has he come to Atlanta to lecture at Emory College about his Sickle Cell research but to learn about his roots and to reacquaint himself with family members.During the week, all sort of things are happening.Annie Eliza's children are having problems, there is a big shakeup in Atlanta politics, a mysterious illness and a suicide.Annie Eliza finds herself in the middle of all this while Junebug appears to be oblivious to it all but just goes along on the adventures to make his aunt happy.

This story is narrated by Annie Eliza and has a folksy feel to it. It is just like she invited you in for a cup of coffee while she tells you what happened during the week Junebug stayed at her house.Annie Eliza remembers every detail of that week, down to what TV show she was watching, what commercial was showing to what outfit she wore to whatever event.If you ever sat and listened to stories told by your elders, you know when they get on a roll; they tell you a present tense story but have to go back into the past for it to make sense. Imagine getting all this information, pertinent or not, in a narrative; it makes for some intense reading. The characterizations were sometimes funny and usually right on point.By the time Annie Eliza finished with their story, you knew all about everyone, at least Annie Eliza's opinion of them.Hidden in all the narrative about the family is a mystery of which Annie Eliza vows to get to the bottom of.Overall, this was a good read.

Jeanette
APOOO BookClub ... Read more


14. The syncopated cakewalk
by Clarence Major
 Unknown Binding: 53 Pages (1974)

Isbn: 0879290242
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

15. Surfaces and Masks
by Clarence Major
Paperback: 128 Pages (1988-08-01)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$1.00
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0918273439
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
long narrative poem, a black American in Venice ... Read more


16. Inside Diameter: The France Poems
by Clarence Major
 Paperback: 36 Pages (1985-09)
list price: US$4.95
Isbn: 0905258096
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
poetry by editor of (1969) 'The New Black Poetry' ... Read more


17. Configurations: New & Selected Poems, 1958-1998
by Clarence Major
Paperback: 375 Pages (1998-09-01)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1556590903
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Editorial Review

*****
Poetry. African American studies. An outstanding selection including poems from eight previous volumes, as well as new work, from an important American writer. By turns humorous and serious, Major is always richly lyrical while remaining visual and precise in his observations. For the younger reader this poetry can work as a lesson in verbal and visual imagination: "There are no things rain is like. / Trees are like brick walls. But there are no things the walls themselves are like. / I'm like you. The contents of a book are like margarine. / The hard green surface of my car is like a forest fire." ('Word into Words Won't Go") In 1970 Clarence Major's first collection, SWALLOW THE LAKE, WON THE National Council on the Arts Award and a year later his poetry was honored with a New York Cultural Foundation prize. He lives is Davis, California.Amazon.com Review
"Death ... is not all / she's cracked up to be," Clarence Major announces in"Love Against Death"--and indeed, the rest of Configurations makes avaliant effort to knock the old girl down a peg or two. Death may be aconstant companion in this volume, but she's never allowed to take control;for this poet, you must accept mortality--not let it haunt you--to be trulyalive. Major's first collection, Swallow the Lake, won the NationalCouncil for the Arts Award in 1970. He has gone on to produce eightwell-received volumes, all of which are represented--along with manyuncollected works--in this striking overview of his career thus far. Whilethese poems are born out of the William Carlos Williams school of plainspeech, they are equally inflected by bebop's syncopated rhythms andimprovisational style. One notices both in "Un Poco Loco," in which thespeaker's "disconnected thoughts" riff against the steady rhythm of thegrandmother preparing dinner, à la Williams: "To keep going, I think /disconnected thoughts: / Chatter. Chew-tobacco. / Phoenicians. Rednecks. /To keep going I watch / my grandmother hold / the chicken by its legs-- /bauk bauk bauk!"

Throughout these poems, Major is adamant about the need to hold onto hopeeven while we confront our mortality. His poems approach this in numerousways--through bursts of metaphoric images, through patterns of music andformal rhythmic structure, and through narrative interaction with others onthe same inescapable journey. In the book's strongest pieces, such as "LoveAgainst Death," all of these devices work together with moving results:

With our love, dear, we fight death,
and we fight unclear meanings.
They are like air released
in a broken scream--
at three in the morning
when your legs feel wooden.

Embrace night odors.
Embrace each other.
Rub your hands
against the roughness
of the whitewashed wall.
For now, you are alive.

In Configurations, Major fights both death and unclear meanings inlanguage of uncompromising clarity and precision. For now, he seems tosuggest, this is what it means to be alive. --A.J. Rathbun ... Read more

18. Waiting for Sweet Betty
by Clarence Major
Paperback: 120 Pages (2002-10-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$2.06
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1556591799
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****

"I find myself writing poems about things I can’t paint," writes Clarence Major who, for 40 years, has been viewed by critics as a "polymorphous writer who has been iconoclast, black esthetician, modernist, surrealist, postmodernist, and deconstructionist" (World Literature Today).

In Waiting for Sweet Betty, Major watches the world with careful longing to capture the exchanges and conflicts between person and place. Just as a painter juxtaposes colors and shapes, Major does the same with words, often writing as an outsider in foreign places. He shifts perspective away from the self, allowing words to play off one another subtly—with puns, inverted/subverted cliches, and sweet bop soundings—so that his vision might become anyone’s. His subtle, conversational style, is at once humble, playful, humorous, and studied, and his stories can be seen as well as heard:

I ride backwards to see what I’m missing.

Big pines and big skies ride up and down and around,
Up and down and around then for a straight stretch.

A white pickup shooting along a white highway east with us.

Note I’m trying to call home but cannot.

Sky and brush and pine and salt-earth curving sharply, tilting away

—from "Train Window Going and Coming"

"Clarence Major is a master of everyday language and textual fine-tuning, showing an indebtedness to the Harlem Renaissance, to the Objectivists, and to Black Mountaineers."—Publishers Weekly

Clarence Major was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry for Configurations: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon). He is the author of 10 books of poetry, nine novels, a short story collection, and several books of nonfiction. He is the subject of two recent books: Clarence Major and His Art (UNC Press) and Conversations with Clarence Major (Mississippi). Major teaches American literature at the University of California at Davis.

... Read more

19. The Dark & Feeling: Black American Writers and Their Work
by Clarence Major
 Hardcover: 153 Pages (1974-02)
list price: US$19.95
Isbn: 089388118X
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

20. Symptoms and Madness
by Clarence Major
 Paperback: 76 Pages (1971-12)

Isbn: 0870910647
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

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