Beyond the Sound Barrier
The Jazz Controversy in Twentieth-Century American Fiction
Beyond the Sound Barrier examines twentieth-century fictional representations of popular music-particularly jazz-in the fiction of James Weldon Johnson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison. Kristin K. Henson argues that an analysis of musical tropes in the work of these four authors suggests that cultural "mixing" constitutes one of the central preoccupations of modernist literature. Valuable for any reader interested in the intersections between American literature and the history of American popular music, Henson situates the literary use of popular music as a culturally amalgamated, boundary-crossing form of expression that reflects and defines modern American identities.
Kristin K. Henson