New Haven: Yale University Press, 1958. First Edition, First Printing.
Small Quarto (9 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches; 240 x 158 mm), black cloth, titles in gilt to spine, in an unclipped dust jacket (hard cover).
An analysis of Black writing in America, from about the 1850s onwards, and serving as both literary history and literary criticism. An Appendix lists some 100 titles and ranks them according to Robert Bone's assessment of quality. In the main text, the author is especially critical of authors who got entangled with the Communist Party in the 1930s.
Bone provides a helpful Bibliography with a chronological listing of novels by American Black authors. When the book was published in 1958, Bone was teaching at Yale. He later taught at Columbia and occasionally wrote book reviews for The New York Times.
This book has gone through numerous printings but copies of the 1958 First Edition are fairly scarce in the market. And despite Bone's critical view of numerous authors, this is a valuable reference work in terms of literary history.
CONDITION: A bit of rubbing to boards, spine titles bright and unfaded. Internally, one page corner creased, light toning to page edges. The unclipped ($5.00) dust jacket is rubbed, especially along the spine and extremities, and has several small nicks. Heavy toning to verso of the jacket and to the rear panel. Overall, Very Good or better. Item #2394