Deceased author's play gets published

HANCOCK — Every now and then a lost song is released long after the artist has passed. In Hancock there’s a case of an author who’s unfinished play has now been published.

Harlem Renaissance author Jean Toomer is well known for his most famous 1923 book Cane. Now thanks to the efforts of Assistant English Professor Doctor Carolyn Dekker at Finlandia University Toomer may have a second great work to be remembered by. In the Beinecke Library at Yale Dekker came across a manuscript written by Toomer is the mid 1930’s.

Finlandia, Assistant Professor of English Dr. Carolyn Dekker said, “What I discovered was a play, called ‘A Drama of the Southwest‘, that was a lot larger and more assemblable than people had kind of imagined, and so I was able to use both his handwritten and his typed drafts to really create a nearly complete full–length play that had just been left behind there in the archives.”

Dekker is credited as the editor of the book, a significance not lost on her.

Dekker said, “I’m aware that it’s an incredible honor to have my name on a book spine next to Jean Toomer’s, and I didn’t add a word of my own to it. So, I did my best to put it in order, and I did my best to include everything and cut nothing.”

A Drama of the Southwest is now available online or at the Maki Library on Finlandia’s campus and soon at the North Winds Bookstore in Hancock.