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Penguin: Library of America Fall 2016

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    Distributor: Random House, Inc. Availability: On Sale Date: Oct 18, 2016 Carton Quantity: 20 $58.00 CAD
    $45.00 USD
The Library of America
Albert Murray: Collected Essays & Memoirs
The Omni-Americans / South to a Very Old Place / The Hero and the Blues / Stomping the Blues / The Blue Devils of Nada
By (author): Albert Murray Edited by: Henry Gates Jr. Edited by: Paul Devlin
9781598535037 Hardcover English General Trade LITERARY COLLECTIONS / American / African American Oct 18, 2016
$58.00 CAD
Active 5.1 x 8.2 x 1.3 in 1072 pages Library of America
For his centenary, the complete nonfiction of the groundbreaking cultural critic who saw America’s black and white cultures as inextricably intertwined—and jazz and blues as the key to an “omni-American” aesthetic

“The United States is not a nation of black and white people. Any fool can see that white people are not really white, and that black people are not black.” This broadside in Albert Murray’s first book, The Omni-Americans, published in 1970, announced the arrival of a major new force in American letters, one that stood in defiant opposition to James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and other writers who he believed overstated the racial divide in American life. Published to mark his centennial in 2016, this Library of America volume brings together The Omni-Americans with five other books in the most complete collection of Murray’s groundbreaking nonfiction ever published. One part travelogue and one part memoir, South to a Very Old Place (1971) is a frank report on racial relations in the Deep South amid the turmoil of the Civil Rights movement. The Hero and the Blues (1973) develops Murray’s belief that the essential bond shared by both dominant American culture and what he called Negro culture is the shared embrace of a “blues aesthetic” that emphasized creative improvisation. Stomping the Blues (1976) is a vivid history of American jazz and blues music that served as inpiration for the foundation of Jazz at Lincoln Center, established by Murray, Wynton Marsalis, Stanley Crouch, and other enthusiasts in 1987. The volume is rounded out by two later essay collections, The Blue Devils of Nada (1996) and From the Briarpatch Files (2001) which soldified his reputation as a penetrating critic and a always engaging stylist—or, to use the epithet once bestowed on him by volume co-editor Henry Louis Gates Jr., “The King of Cats.”

Series Overview: The Library of America series includes more than 275 volumes, each featuring authoritative, unabridged texts, a chronology, detailed notes, and a brief textual essay. This is the first of two volumes in the Library of America Albert Murray edition.

Restores The Omni-Americans, Stomping the Blues, and From the Briarpatch Files to print

Collection stands as fascinating counterpoint to James Baldwin: Collected Essays, one of the most successful LOA volumes of the last twenty years (with over 60,000 copies in print)

HENRY LOUIS GATES JR., co-editor, is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and American Research at Harvard University. He is the author of 16 books, including Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008 and Tradition and the Black Atlantic, and has made 12 documentaries, including Finding Your Roots, Black in Latin America, and Looking for Lincoln. He is also the editor-in-chief of The Root, a daily online magazine. He is a trustee of the Library of America, and the editor of Frederick Douglass: Autobiographies, volume #68 in the Library of America series, and co-editor with William Andrews of Slave Narratives, volume #114.

PAUL DEVLIN, co-editor, teaches at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He earned his PhD in English at Stony Brook University in 2014. He is the editor of Rifftide: The Life and Opinions of Papa Jo Jones, as told to Albert Murray, a finalist for the Jazz Journalists Association's book award in 2012, and, more recently, Murray Talks Music: Albert Murray on Jazz and Blues.

Marketing: National advertising in the New York Review of Books

Outreach to African American History / Jazz Museum gift stores

Interview with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Paul Devlin in LOA E-Newsletter (50K)

Promotion at ALA, MLA, PLA, AmLit



Publicity: National review coverage

National/regional (Alabama) interviews with editors Henry Louis Gates Jr and Paul Devlin

Special outreach to jazz media

Special outreach to conservative media

Special outreach to black media

“Albert Murray’s best nonfiction has been gathered in a plump and welcome volume from the Library of America…. His writing about racism can prickle your skin…. To paraphrase Murray’s praise of Ellison’s Invisible Man, reading this book is like watching someone take a 12-bar blues song and score it for a full orchestra.” — Dwight Garner, The New York Times

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