Claude McKay

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Claude McKay (1889-1948) was a Jamaican-born African-American novelist and poet. He was an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance and the first African American to write a best-selling novel.

In 2012, a researcher working in the archives of Columbia University discovered an unpublished McKay novel from 1941 titled Amiable With Big Teeth: A Novel of the Love Affair Between the Communists and the Poor Black Sheep of Harlem, in which the author commented on Harlem's reaction to global events such as the Italian invasion of Ethiopia and his own break with the Communist Party.[1]

Published works

  • Novels:
    • Banjo (1929)
    • Banana Bottom (1933)
  • Short stories:
    • Gingertown (1932)
  • Memoir:
    • A Long Way from Home (1937)
    • Harlem: Negro Metropolis (1940)
  • Poetry:
    • Harlem Shadows (1922)
    • Selected Poems (1953)


  1. Felicia R. Lee, "New Novel of Harlem Renaissance Is Found," New York Times, September 14, 2012.