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Summary of If He Hollers Let Him Go


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Chester Himes was born in Jefferson City, Missouri on July 29, 1909. His father was a professor of metal trades and he taught industrial skills at southern black colleges. His mother worked as a teacher. At the age of 19 he was put in jail at the Ohio State Penitentiary for armed robbery. It is said that he was chained and beaten by policemen until he confessed to this crime. He was sentenced for 25 years but was paroled eight years later. In 1930 while in prison he witnessed a prison fire that killed 320 convicts. While he was in prison he started to write fiction novels. Chester Himes became one of the most popular authors for the magazine Esquire. He wrote To What Red Hell?(1934). That same year after begging release from prison, he joined the Federal Writer's Project. After his release, his first novel was If He Hollers Let Him Go and it was follow by Lonely Crusade. In 1952 he wrote Cast the First Stone. He then proceeded to writing The Third Generation in 1954 and The Primitive in 1955. After writing these two novels Himes moved to Paris and joined a group of black writers and artists. The group included: James Baldwin, Ollie Harrington and Richard Wright. In France, Himes concentrated mainly on this writing and wrote six more books. Chester Himes died on November 12, 1984 in Moraira Spain.

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