Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1952. First edition. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "Especially for Caroline - Sincerely - Langston Hughes New York, December, 1953." Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some chips, wear, and faint staining.
Laughing to Keep from Crying is the second collection of short fiction by Hughes and highlights race relations through twenty-four short stories spanning 30 years.
"In these twenty-odd stories, almost all of them concerned with minority groups, there is little special pleading, as such, and no attempt to show only the best in the people about whom Hughes is writing. What the reader senses, however, if he happens to be a human being, is that the worst of them are caught between their environment and our inhumanity to a point where it got to be more than they could handle. It is this quality, I think, which makes every story (with the possible exception of "One Friday Morning," which seems overly familiar because of similar stories which followed it) become amazingly fresh and free from the stereotype, and the self-consciousness of too much of our protest writing. Bucklin, New York Times March 23, 1952)