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Contemporary African American Literature
from the Richard Hoffman Collection


An Exhibition

January 26 – June 29, 2010



In celebration of Black History month (February 2010) the exhibition “Contemporary African American Literature from the Richard Hoffman Collection,” will be on display through June 29, 2010. The exhibition is drawn entirely from material donated by Richard Hoffman, a Brooklyn-based collector and bookdealer who assembled a number of literary collections over a period of many years.


After his discharge from the United States Army in 1955, Richard Hoffman taught in the drama department of The City University of New York. During this period he was awarded a Eugene O’Neill fellowship for play writing. He also seriously began to collect rare books and first editions, especially African American literature and contemporary drama. This interest in collecting led to his career as an antiquarian bookdealer. The University of Delaware Library is renowned for its extensive African American literature collection and Richard Hoffman’s collection is well represented within these holdings.



Checklist of the Exhibition



Ai, 1947-

Vice: new and selected poems. New York: W.W. Norton, [1999.]


Basie, Count, 1904-1984.

Good morning blues: the autobiography of Count Basie, as told to Albert Murray. New York: Random House, [1985.] Signed and inscribed by Albert Murray.


Bradley, David, 1950-

The Chaneysville incident: a novel. New York: Harper & Row, [1981.]


Bryant, Dana.

Song of the siren: tales of rhythm and revolution. New York: Boulevard Books, [1995]. Uncorrected proof for limited distribution.


Chase-Riboud, Barbara.

From Memphis & Peking: poems. New York: Random House, [1974.]


Chase-Riboud, Barbara.

Sally Hemings: a novel. New York: Viking Press, 1979.


Clifton, Lucille, 1936-

Everett Anderson's 1-2-3, with illustrations by Ann Grifalconi. New York: H. Holt, 1992. Signed and inscribed by the author.


Dean, Phillip Hayes.

The sty of the blind pig and other plays. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, [1973.]


Dixon, Melvin, 1950-1992.

Vanishing rooms. New York: Dutton, [1991.]


Elder, Lonne.

Ceremonies in dark old men. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, [1969.]


Ellis, Trey.

Platitudes. New York: Vintage Books, [1988.] “This is an un-copy-edited manuscript.”


Ellison, Ralph

Trading twelves: the selected letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray, edited by Albert Murray and John F. Callahan. New York: Modern Library, 2000. Signed by Albert Murray.


Gaines, Ernest J., 1933-

A lesson before dying. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1993. Signed by the author.


Gordone, Charles.

No place to be somebody: a black black comedy in three acts. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, [1969.]


Hansberry, Lorraine, 1930-1965.

A raisin in the sun: the unfilmed original screenplay; edited by Robert Nemiroff. New York: N.Y.: Plume, [1992.]


Henderson, David, 1942-

Neo-California. Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books, c1998.


Himes, Chester B., 1909-1984.

Yesterday will make you cry. New York: Norton, [1998.]


Hurston, Zora Neale.

Every tongue got to confess: Negro folk-tales from the Gulf states. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, c2001.


Jones, Martin, 1946-

West Memphis Mojo. New York, N.Y.: Broadway Play Pub., 1987.


Jones, Nettie.

Fish tales. New York: Random House, [1983.]


Jordan, June, 1936-2002.

Some of us did not die: new and selected essays of June Jordan. New York, N.Y.: Basic/Civitas Books, [2002.]


Kelley, William Melvin, 1937-

A different drummer. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1962.


Lattany, Kristin Hunter, 1931-2008.

The Soul Brothers and Sister Lou. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, [1968].


Major, Clarence.

Dirty bird blues: a novel. San Francisco: Mercury House, [1996.] Uncorrected page proof.


Merriam, Eve, 1916-1992.

The trouble with love: poems. New York: Macmillan, 1960.


Mosley, Walter.

Black Betty / Walter Mosley. New York: W.W. Norton, [1994.] Signed by the author.


Seven Black plays: the Theodore Ward Prize for African American Playwriting, edited by Chuck Smith; with a foreword by August Wilson. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 2004.


Shange, Ntozake.

A daughter's geography. New York: St. Martin's Press, [1983.]


Steptoe, John, 1950-

Uptown. New York: Harper & Row, c[970.]


Walker, Joseph A., 1935-

The River Niger: a play. New York: Hill and Wang, [1973.]


Wideman, John Edgar.

The cattle killing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996. Signed by the author.


Williams, Sherley Anne, 1944-

Dessa Rose. New York: W. Morrow, [1986.] Signed by the author.


Wolfe, George C.

The colored museum. New York, N.Y.: Grove Press, [1988.]




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