Jean Toomer (born Nathan Pinchback Toomer, December 26, 1894 – March 30, 1967) was an African American poet and novelist commonly associated with the Harlem Renaissance, though he actively resisted the association, and modernism. His reputation stems from his only book, the novel Cane (1923), which Toomer wrote during and after a stint as a school principal in Sparta, Georgia. The novel intertwines the stories of six women and includes an apparently autobiographical thread; sociologist Charles S. Johnson called it "the most astonishingly brilliant beginning of any Negro writer of his generation".He continued to write poetry, short stories and essays. After his second marriage in 1934, he moved from New York to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where he became a member of the Religious Society of Friends (also known as Quakers) and retired from public life. His papers are held by the Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale University.