Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Postwar African American NovelProtest and Discontent, 1945-1950$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stephanie Brown

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781604739732

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604739732.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of
date: 22 July 2018

“If I Can Only Get It Funny!”: Chester Himes’s Parodic Protest Novels

“If I Can Only Get It Funny!”: Chester Himes’s Parodic Protest Novels

(p.41) Chapter Two “If I Can Only Get It Funny!”: Chester Himes’s Parodic Protest Novels
The Postwar African American Novel

Stephanie Brown

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter focuses on Chester Himes, an African American writer who had a contentious relationship with the genre of the African American protest novel. The critical assessment of his first novel If He Hollers Let Him Go set the tone for the reception of his subsequent works, which have routinely been hailed as second-rate protest fiction. There has also been the pervading perception that Himes’s major novels are indebted to Richard Wright both for their subject matter and for their style, a perception that remains dominant until today. If He Hollers Let Him Go received the occasional accolade but was more often damned with faint praise. A closer examination of the novel, however, reveals its ambivalence toward and critique of the conventions of protest fiction as Himes clearly understood them.

Keywords:   protest novel, Chester Himes, African American writer, second-rate protest fiction, Richard Wright

University Press of Mississippi requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.