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The Hungered One


Akashic launches an African American–focused reprint series with this classic story collection.

$14.95 $11.21

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“There are master works here . . . But there is also an edgy silent harshness, a world held together by yearning and regret, where desire is met with smothered instinct, hope with mocking laughter. Quietly touching, stealthily brain-rattling. Feeling and thought is what Bullins offers. However bitter, it’s good for us.”
Amiri Baraka, from the Preface

“Ed Bullins’s words are heavy as stones—beautiful colored stones coming from the sea, hitting our skin—hurting, smarting, nurturing right down to the bones where sainthood is impossible. He anoints us with young black men on their knees exposing themselves to an American hunger impossible to satisfy. He posits black women shimmering in the night to an acrobatic tune of loneliness. How to pray when he causes us to howl with laughter and pain? How to pray indeed as his words continue to mark time with his insistent heart. What an honor to read your prose again, my dear brother.”
—Sonia Sanchez

“A richness of language and observation pervades this collection of short stories by a black writer about real black people.”
New York Times Book Review

“Knowledge of craft and technique distinguishes the collection of short fiction by Ed Bullins. Reading like an odyssey of one man’s experiences of the world . . .”
—Addison Gayle, author of The Black Aesthetic

“For true students and fans of American and African-American literature of the 1960s and ’70s, Ed Bullins is one of our indisputable heavyweight champs. Yes, we know him as the legendary, controversial, provocative, and award-winning playwright, but there is a reason why his plays always have such musicality, why his characters pulse with a social realism only the most gifted scribes can capture—it is because Bullins, too, is a magnificent fiction writer. This reissue of The Hungered One is a lost-found treasure. In it, Bullins is a rapper, a spoken-word artist, spitting lyrics across time, space, geography, and into the souls of the people—you, us, yesterday, and now.”
—Kevin Powell, author of No Sleep Till Brooklyn: New and Selected Poems


An AkashiClassics: Renegade Reprint Series selection.

Moving from Bullins’s childhood in the Philadelphia slums to his incarnation as an artistic wanderer in Europe, then back to America as an officer in the Black Panther Party to resting finally in New York as resident playwright of a vibrant theater in Harlem—The New Lafayette Theatre—The Hungered One gives us a glimpse into the fascinating life and times of one of this country’s most-celebrated African American dramatists.

These early writings explore loneliness and despair in beautifully crafted stories, and also give us an indication from whence Bullins comes and a hint at where he would like to go. They are all important because they are a testament to the creative beginnings of a groundbreaking and historically significant writer.

Also check out Home: Social Essays by Amiri Baraka, another title in the AkashiClassics: Renegade Reprint Series.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Published: 1/1/09
  • IBSN: 9781933354668
  • e-IBSN: 9781617750915


ED BULLINS, one of the most prolific African American writers of his generation, has authored such works as In the Wine Time, Goin’ a Buffalo, Clara’s Ole Man, and The Taking of Miss Janie, which received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play of the 1974–75 season. He has also won multiple Obie Awards, Guggenheim fellowships, and playwriting grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, among other honors. Along with Amiri Baraka, Bullins is considered to be one of the key figures of the Black Arts movement. His book of short fiction, The Hungered One: Early Writings, was originally published in 1971.

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