Griffin, John Chandler Books
About the author: Dr. John Chandler Griffin holds the title Distinguished Professor Emeritus with the University of South Carolina, and has authored nine books over the past decade. His 1996 biography of Thomas Wolfe (Memories of Thomas Wolfe) won the History Book of the Year Award from the North Carolina Historical Society, but he says that this work on Jean Toomer is by far his most ambitious achievement. Following thirty years of dedicated service, Governor Jim Hodges recently named Griffin to the Order of the Silver Crescent, the highest award the state of South Carolina can make to any of her citizens.2002 0-7734-7088-3
This comprehensive biography of writer Jean Toomer, known as the Herald of the Harlem Renaissance, uses previously untapped sources, including lengthy meetings with Toomer’s widow and associates. It examines his ancestors and early life, the publication of Cane in 1923, and then the strange events of his later life, including his association with Waldo Frank and his wife Margery Naumberg, through whom he would come to be involved with Georges Gurdjieff, an Armenian mystic. It examines his marriages, his involvement with Quakerism, his declining health (and subsequent involvement with psychic healers such as Edgar Cayce and Ron Hubbard). The volume includes an interview with Marjorie Content Toomer, his widow, and a Jean Toomer bibliography.
The cold-blooded execution of President John F. Kennedy remains the most intriguing mystery of the 20th century. This fascinating book methodically examines the various organizations and numerous individuals who had the motive, the opportunity and the means of carrying out such an incredible crime exonerating, in theory, the alleged lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.2003 0-7734-6810-2
This volume brings together everything published by Jean Toomer, known as the Herald of the Harlem Renaissance, after the publication of Cane in 1923, plus several poems he had published prior to ’23. It includes short stories, poems, essays, and a play. The play, Balo, published in 1927, grew out of his experiences as headmaster of a black school in Sparta, Georgia in 1922, and takes an interesting look at race relations and black religion in the rural South in the early part of the century. The volumes also contains a brief biography of Toomer.