The Big Sea is a novel written by Langston Hughes in 1993 and is an autobiography of the author. The story revolves around the life of the author, Langston Hughes, who grows up in America and faces the same challenges as those brought upon other black citizens of America due to the colour of their skin. His mother was very poor and so he grew up moving around a lot. He quickly realised that he had a gift and a passion for poetry. Although Langston Hughes initially starts college, he drops out to be a seaman but later receives a scholarship from Lincoln College and decides to write poetry books that will become published and earn him some money. He makes many friends at college but with the beginning of the Great Depression, Langston realises that he will need to earn some money and publish some books of poetry.
The autobiography was written by the author to reflect upon his life and legacy and also to allow readers to reflect upon it. The book was also written to provide a first-hand snapshot as to how life was for a black citizen of the USA at the time and the many challenges that they faced to gain civil rights and to improve their lives.
The book was well received by critics and readers as it grasped the challenges faced by black citizens so well and encapsulated Langston Hughes' life so well. In fact, Amiri Baraka, the well-known writer and poet commented that The Big Sea is a 'wonderful book' and the book has also been given a rating of 4.5 out of a possible 5 on Barnes & Noble.