Modern Library edition 1934
The novel tells the story of Porgy, a crippled street-beggar in the black tenements of Charleston, South Carolina, in the 1920s. The character was based on the real-life Charlestonian Samuel Smalls. Some passages in the novel have the characters speaking in the Gullah language.
The novel was adapted for a 1927 play by Heyward and his wife, playwright Dorothy Heyward. Even before the play had been fully written, Heyward was in discussions with George Gershwin for an operatic version of his novel, which appeared in 1935 as Porgy and Bess (renamed to distinguish it from the play).
- "Porgy and Bess Brings Back Memories of Sammy Smalls", News and Courier, October 14, 1985.
- Full text of Porgy plus criticism and commentary by Kendra Hamilton, hosted by the University of Virginia
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