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Considered a masterpiece of American modernist literature, Jean Toomer's CANE was unlike anything published before it in 1923, and in 2023 it remains a necessary alternative to the conventions of literature and publishing. With this 100th anniversary celebration of the book, we reimagine the critical edition as an invitation to wonder, speculate, imagine and create. We present our beautifully designed, faithful edition of the genre-defying classic along with a deck of striking, large-format oracular cards. Black thinkers and makers from across and between creative, scholarly and community practices have convened for this project. They offer their insights in the form of prompts, gestures, images, questions, and calls to respond, each presented on a card, paired with an evocative, timeless quote from CANE. Readers can use the deck and book together for insight into CANE, into themselves and for creative inspiration.
Included in CANE: A NEW CRITICAL EDITION:
Our beautifully designed, faithful edition of CANE by Jean Toomer with cover art by Barbara Earl Thomas
A boxed deck of 50+ large-format oracular cards
A companion booklet with more insights into the book and cards, information about contributors and an index of the book's images, ideas and themes.
Fiction. Poetry. Hybrid. African & African American Studies.
Jean Toomer (December 26, 1894 - March 30, 1967) was an American poet and novelist. Born Nathan Pinchback Toomer in Washington, D.C. in 1894, he was the son of Nathan Toomer (1839-1906), a former enslaved man and farmer, and Nina Elizabeth Pinchback (1866- 1909), whose parents became free people of color prior to the Civil War. Studying widely across a range of subjects, Toomer never earned a degree. His writing is informed by a powerfully innovative impulse and independent study of contemporary writers and poets. In addition to CANE, for which he is best known, Toomer published short fiction, poetry and essays in periodicals of the time. In his later life, he studied the Quaker religion, Indian faiths, the psychology of Carl Jung and committed himself to the teachings of spiritualist George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff.
Author City: DOYLESTOWN, PA USA
Diane Exavier is a writer, theatermaker, and educator. Intersecting performance and poetry, her work has been presented at The Flea Theater, Sibiu's International Theater Festival in Romania, Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place, and more. She is author of the chapbook Teaches of Peaches (The Atlas Review, 2017), and of the full- length poetry collection THE MATH OF SAINT FELIX, published by The 3rd Thing in 2021.
Carlos Sirah is a writer and performer from the Mississippi Delta. His work encounters exile, rupture, displacement, and migration. A 2017-2018 Lambda Literary Fellow, Playwrights Center Core Apprentice, and recent Millay Colony fellow, he is author of THE HIGH ALIVE: AN EPIC HOODOO DIPTYCH, published by The 3rd Thing in 2020.
Anne de Marcken is Editor and Publisher at The 3rd Thing, which she founded in 2019. She is author of the novel It Lasts Forever and Then It's Over (New Directions, Fitzcarraldo Editions, Giramondo, 2024) and the lyric novella, The Accident: An Account (Spuyten Duyvil, 2020). Her writing has been featured in Best New American Voices, Ploughshares, Narrative, Entropy, Glimmer Train, Southern Indiana Review, on NPR's Selected Shorts and elsewhere. She is an Artist Trust Fellow.