A Visitation of Spirits

  • Filename: a-visitation-of-spirits.
  • ISBN: 0802111181
  • Release Date: 1989
  • Number of pages: 257
  • Author: Randall Kenan
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic

The Crosses are the oldest and proudest black family in Tims Creek, NC, a town still governed by the rhythms and rituals of farming and tobacco. But sixteen year old Horace seeks love and fulfillment where no other Cross has been. What emerges is the complex and sustaining truths of four generations of a black family's life in the South.

Critical Essays

  • Filename: critical-essays.
  • ISBN: 9781317991892
  • Release Date: 2013-09-13
  • Number of pages: 237
  • Author: John Dececco, Phd
  • Publisher: Routledge

This pioneering work is the first book to systematically explore the literature of gay and lesbian writers of color in the United States. Critical Essays challenges the marginalization and tokenization of gay men and lesbians of color in the dominant academic discourses by focusing exclusively on the imaginative work of representative Native-American, Asian-American, Latino(a), and African-American gay and lesbian writers. As the first book offering a scholarly assessment of ethnic gay and lesbian writing in the U.S., Critical Essays simultaneously defies ethnic and mainstream homophobia as well as straight and gay/lesbian racism. This deliberate counter to the dominant white discourse of gay and lesbian literature offers a lively contribution to the debate on the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender/sexuality and class in American literature. A wide range of critical approaches, including historical readings, cultural analysis, and deconstructive criticism, is employed to the works of such major literary figures as Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, John Rechy, Paula Gunn Allen, and Gloria Anzaldúa. These thought-provoking chapters disrupt the complacent notion of a unified gay/lesbian community by questioning the presumed similarities of persons who share sexual identity. Some of the specific topics explored in Critical Essays include: post-coloniality and gay/lesbian identities emerging Asian-American gay and lesbian writers redefining the Harlem Renaissance from gay perspectives contemporary African-American gay male performance art relocating the gay Filipino This groundbreaking volume will be of immense interest to undergraduate, graduate, and advanced scholars in Gay and Lesbian studies, Women’s studies, African-American studies, Asian-American studies, Latino(a) studies and Native-American studies. It will also serve students and scholars as a valuable introduction to the diversity of authors that comprise twentieth-century American literature.

The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature

  • Filename: the-concise-oxford-companion-to-african-american-literature.
  • ISBN: 0198031750
  • Release Date: 2001-02-15
  • Number of pages: 512
  • Author: William L. Andrews
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

A breathtaking achievement, this Concise Companion is a suitable crown to the astonishing production in African American literature and criticism that has swept over American literary studies in the last two decades. It offers an enormous range of writers-from Sojourner Truth to Frederick Douglass, from Zora Neale Hurston to Ralph Ellison, and from Toni Morrison to August Wilson. It contains entries on major works (including synopses of novels), such as Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Richard Wright's Native Son, and Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. It also incorporates information on literary characters such as Bigger Thomas, Coffin Ed Johnson, Kunta Kinte, Sula Peace, as well as on character types such as Aunt Jemima, Brer Rabbit, John Henry, Stackolee, and the trickster. Icons of black culture are addressed, including vivid details about the lives of Muhammad Ali, John Coltrane, Marcus Garvey, Jackie Robinson, John Brown, and Harriet Tubman. Here, too, are general articles on poetry, fiction, and drama; on autobiography, slave narratives, Sunday School literature, and oratory; as well as on a wide spectrum of related topics. Compact yet thorough, this handy volume gathers works from a vast array of sources--from the black periodical press to women's clubs--making it one of the most substantial guides available on the growing, exciting world of African American literature.

Contemporary African American Novelists

  • Filename: contemporary-african-american-novelists.
  • ISBN: 0313305013
  • Release Date: 1999-01-01
  • Number of pages: 530
  • Author: Emmanuel Sampath Nelson
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

During the last two decades, African American writers have emerged as a distinct and dominant force in world literature. This reference book offers lively, concise, and current information about the lives and imaginative works of 79 contemporary African American novelists. Each of the alphabetically arranged entries begins with a biographical sketch of the author, offers a judicious critical assessment of the author's major works, provides a representative sample of the critical responses the author's books have elicited, and concludes with a selected bibliography that lists the author's publications as well as useful secondary material. Included are entries for major figures, such as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, James Baldwin, and Ralph Ellison, but many noteworthy young writers also receive the attention they deserve. Forty-one of the 79 writers discussed are women, and roughly a dozen of the novelists have identified themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Intended for students and advanced scholars alike, the volume is sophisticated yet accessible to a wide audience.

Raising the Dead

  • Filename: raising-the-dead.
  • ISBN: 0822324997
  • Release Date: 2000-03-29
  • Number of pages: 235
  • Author: Sharon Patricia Holland
  • Publisher: Duke University Press

DIVThrough a series of literary and cultural readings, argues that African-Americans have a special relation to death arising from their death-like social marginality./div


  • Filename: beetlecreek.
  • ISBN: 1617030864
  • Release Date: 2010-12-01
  • Number of pages: 236
  • Author: William Demby
  • Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi

After several years of silence and seclusion in Beetlecreek's black quarter, a carnival worker named Bill Trapp befriends Johnny Johnson, a Pittsburgh teenager living with relatives in Beetlecreek. Bill is white. Johnny is black. Both are searching for acceptance, something that will give meaning to their lives. Bill tries to find it through good will in the community. Johnny finds it in the Nightriders, a local gang. David Diggs, the boy's dispirited uncle, aspires to be an artist but has to settle for sign painting. David and Johnny's new friendship with Bill kindles hope that their lives will get better. David's marriage has failed; his wife's shallow faith serves as her outlet from racial and financial oppression. David's unhappy routine is broken by Edith Johnson's return to Beetlecreek, but this relationship will be no better than his loveless marriage. Bill's attempts to unify black and white children with a community picnic is a disaster. A rumor scapegoats him as a child molester, and Beetlecreek is titillated by the imagined crimes. This novel portraying race relations in a remote West Virginia town has been termed an existential classic. It would be hard, said The New Yorker, to give Mr. Demby too much praise for the skill with which he has maneuvered the relationships in this book. During the 1960s Arna Bontemps wrote, "Demby's troubled townsfolk of the West Virginia mining region foreshadow present dilemmas. The pressing and resisting social forces in this season of our discontent and the fatal paralysis of those of us unable or unwilling to act are clearly anticipated with the dependable second sight of a true artist." First published in 1950, Beetlecreek stands as a moving condemnation of provincialism and fundamentalism. Both a critique of racial hypocrisy and a new direction for the African-American novel, it occupies fresh territory that is neither the ghetto realism of Richard Wright nor the ironic modernism of Ralph Ellison. Even after fifty years, more or less, William Demby said in 1998, "It still seems to me that Beetlecreek is about the absence of symmetry in human affairs, the imperfectibility of justice the tragic inevitability of mankind's inhumanity to mankind."

Let the Dead Bury Their Dead and Other Stories

  • Filename: let-the-dead-bury-their-dead-and-other-stories.
  • ISBN: 0156505150
  • Release Date: 1992
  • Number of pages: 334
  • Author: Randall Kenan
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

A collection of stories about life in a North Carolina town features tales of a boy who receives messages from the grave and a widow's transformation after a weekend affair with a teenager

Contemporary Black Men s Fiction and Drama

  • Filename: contemporary-black-men-s-fiction-and-drama.
  • ISBN: 0252026764
  • Release Date: 2001
  • Number of pages: 243
  • Author: Keith Clark
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Demonstrating the extraordinary versatility of African-American men's writing since the 1970s, this forceful collection illustrates how African-American male novelists and playwrights have absorbed, challenged, and expanded the conventions of black American writing and, with it, black male identity.From the "John Henry Syndrome"--a definition of black masculinity based on brute strength or violence--to the submersion of black gay identity under equations of gay with white and black with straight, the African-American male in literature and drama has traditionally been characterized in ways that confine and silence him. Contemporary Black Men's Fiction and Drama identifies the forces that limit black male discourse, including traditions established by iconic African-American male authors such as James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Ralph Ellison. This thoughtful volume also shows how contemporary black male authors use their narratives to put forward new ways of being and knowing that foster a more complete sense of self and more humane and open ways of communicating with and relating to others. In the work of Charles Johnson, Ernest Gaines, and August Wilson, contributors find paths toward broader, less rigid ideas of what black literature can be, what the connections among individual and communal resistance can be, and how black men can transcend the imprisoning models of hypermasculinity promoted by American culture. Seeking greater spiritual connection with the past, John Edgar Wideman returns to the folk rituals of his family, while Melvin Dixon and Brent Wade reclaim African roots and traditions. Ishmael Reed struggles with a contemporary cultural oppression that he sees as an insidious echo of slavery, while Clarence Major's experimental writing suggests how black men might reclaim their own voices in a culture that silences them. Taking in a wide range of critical, theoretical, cultural, gender, and sexual concerns, Contemporary Black Men's Fiction and Drama provides provocative new readings of a broad range of contemporary writers.

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature I M

  • Filename: the-greenwood-encyclopedia-of-multiethnic-american-literature-i-m.
  • ISBN: 031333062X
  • Release Date: 2005
  • Number of pages: 2483
  • Author: Emmanuel Sampath Nelson
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

Alphabetically arranged entries in five chronological volumes focus on individual authors, works, and topics related to multiethnic American literature.

South to the Future

  • Filename: south-to-the-future.
  • ISBN: 0820324116
  • Release Date: 2002
  • Number of pages: 108
  • Author: Fred C. Hobson
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press

Until recently, the American South has often been treated in isolation by historians and literary critics. In these essays five scholars of southern history and literature evaluate elements of contemporary--and future--southern experience, including place, community, culture, class, gender, and racial roles. Fred Hobson observes in his introductory essay that the U.S. South must be seen in relation to a larger world--the Caribbean and Central and South America, as well as European countries with a similar grounding in hardship and defeat. Moreover, the South can no longer be viewed in black-and-white terms--especially if the subject is race. Joel Williamson's essay challenges fellow historians to broaden their purview by getting acquainted with Gone with the Wind, Elvis Presley, and other phenomena of southern culture(s). Linda Wagner-Martin discusses the innovative ways in which contemporary southern writers such as Charles Frazier take on traditional southern concerns and shows us how "place becomes space" for Alice Walker, Barbara Kingsolver, Cormac McCarthy, and other southern-born writers whose works are often set outside the geographical South. Thadious Davis looks at the "youngsters" of southern poetry, fiction, and drama, revealing how their work reflects a racially and ethnically mixed, digitized, and otherwise reconfigured South. In the writings of Shay Youngblood, Randall Kenan, Donna Tartt, Mona Lisa Salloy, and others, one can see the collapsing of distinctions between the literary and the popular, and a greater comfort with social fluidity and mobility. The concluding essay by Edward Ayers, set in 2076, offers a witty glimpse of things-perhaps-to-come. Through a series of short dispatches from a sixteen-year-old narrator of Scottish-Ghanian-Honduran-Korean-Cherokee descent, Ayers transports us to the Consolidated South that counts Incarceration Incorporated among its largest employers. As these writings signal new depths and directions in southern historical and literary studies, they compose a witty and erudite album of snapshots, revealing a region on the verge of big changes.


  • Filename: southscapes.
  • ISBN: 9780807869321
  • Release Date: 2011-11-21
  • Number of pages: 472
  • Author: Thadious M. Davis
  • Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

In this innovative approach to southern literary cultures, Thadious Davis analyzes how black southern writers use their spatial location to articulate the vexed connections between society and environment, particularly under segregation and its legacies. Basing her analysis on texts by Ernest Gaines, Richard Wright, Alice Walker, Natasha Trethewey, Olympia Vernon, Brenda Marie Osbey, Sybil Kein, and others, Davis reveals how these writers reconstitute racial exclusion as creative black space, rather than a site of trauma and resistance. Utilizing the social and political separation epitomized by segregation to forge a spatial and racial vantage point, Davis argues, allows these writers to imagine and represent their own subject matter and aesthetic concerns. Focusing particularly on Louisiana and Mississippi, Davis deploys new geographical discourses of space to expand analyses of black writers' relationship to the South and to consider the informing aspects of spatial narratives on their literary production. She argues that African American writers not only are central to the production of southern literature and new southern studies, but also are crucial to understanding the shift from modernism to postmodernism in southern letters. A paradigm-shifting work, Southscapes restores African American writers to their rightful place in the regional imagination, while calling for a more inclusive conception of region.


  • Filename: visitation.
  • ISBN: 9780811219310
  • Release Date: 2010-09-30
  • Number of pages: 151
  • Author: Jenny Erpenbeck
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing

A bestseller in Germany, Visitation has established Jenny Erpenbeck as one of Europe’s most significant contemporary authors. A house on the forested bank of a Brandenburg lake outside Berlin (once belonging to Erpenbeck’s grandparents) is the focus of this compact, beautiful novel. Encompassing over one hundred years of German history, from the nineteenth century to the Weimar Republic, from World War II to the Socialist German Democratic Republic, and finally reunification and its aftermath, Visitation offers the life stories of twelve individuals who seek to make their home in this one magical little house. The novel breaks into the everyday life of the house and shimmers through it, while relating the passions and fates of its inhabitants. Elegant and poetic, Visitation forms a literary mosaic of the last century, tearing open wounds and offering moments of reconciliation, with its drama and its exquisite evocation of a landscape no political upheaval can truly change.

After Southern Modernism

  • Filename: after-southern-modernism.
  • ISBN: 1604738898
  • Release Date: 2011-06-14
  • Number of pages: 233
  • Author: Matthew Guinn
  • Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi

The literature of the contemporary South might best be understood for its discontinuity with the literary past. At odds with traditions of the Southern Renascence, southern literature of today sharply refutes the Nashville Agrarians and shares few of Faulkner's and Welty's concerns about place, community, and history. This sweeping study of the literary South's new direction focuses on nine well established writers who, by breaking away from the firmly ensconced myths, have emerged as an iconoclastic generation--Harry Crews, Dorothy Allison, Bobbie Ann Mason, Larry Brown, Kaye Gibbons, Randall Kenan, Richard Ford, Cormac McCarthy, and Barry Hannah. Resisting the modernist methods of the past, they have established their own postmodern ground beyond the shadow of their predecessors. This shift in authorial perspective is a significant indicator of the future of southern writing. Crews's seminal role as a ground-breaking "poor white" author, Mason's and Crews's portrayals of rural life, and Allison's and Brown's frank portrayals of the lower class pose a challenge to traditional depictions of the South. The dissenting voices of Gibbons and Kenan, who focus on gender, race, and sexuality, create fiction that is at once identifiably "southern" and also distinctly subversive. Gibbons's iconoclastic stance toward patriarchy, like the outsider's critique of community found in Kenan's work, proffers a portrait of the South unprecedented in the region's literature. Ford, McCarthy, and Hannah each approach the South's traditional notions of history and community with new irreverence and treat familiar southern topics in a distinctly postmodern manner. Whether through Ford's generic consumer landscape, the haunted netherworld of McCarthy's southern novels, or Hannah's riotous burlesque of the Civil War, these authors assail the philosophical and cultural foundations from which the Southern Renascence arose. Challenging the conventional conceptions of the southern canon, this is a provocative and innovative contribution to the region's literary study.

The Encyclopedia of the Novel

  • Filename: the-encyclopedia-of-the-novel.
  • ISBN: 9781405161848
  • Release Date: 2011-01-11
  • Number of pages: 1216
  • Author:
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

An advanced reference resource, The Encyclopedia of the Novel offers authoritative accounts of the history, terminology, genre and theory of the novel, in over 150 articles written by leading scholars in the field Part of the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Literature Arranged in A-Z format across 2 fully indexed and meticulously cross-referenced volumes, featuring nearly 150 contributors and over 500,000 words Written by an international cast of leading scholars, overseen by an Advisory Board of 37 specialists Entries explore the history and tradition of the novel in different areas of the world; formal elements of the novel (story, plot, character, narrator); technical aspects of the genre (such as realism, narrative structure and style) as well as subgenres, including the bildungsroman and the graphic novel; theoretical problems, like definitions of the novel; and topics in book history and the novel's relationship to other arts and disciplines Online version provides students and researchers with 24/7 access to authoritative reference and powerful searching, browsing and cross-referencing capabilities Special introductory price available

How I Shed My Skin

  • Filename: how-i-shed-my-skin.
  • ISBN: 9781616204938
  • Release Date: 2015-04-14
  • Number of pages: 288
  • Author: Jim Grimsley
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books

More than sixty years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that America’s schools could no longer be segregated by race. Critically acclaimed novelist Jim Grimsley was eleven years old in 1966 when federally mandated integration of schools went into effect in the state and the school in his small eastern North Carolina town was first integrated. Until then, blacks and whites didn’t sit next to one another in a public space or eat in the same restaurants, and they certainly didn’t go to school together. Going to one of the private schools that almost immediately sprang up was not an option for Jim: his family was too poor to pay tuition, and while they shared the community’s dismay over the mixing of the races, they had no choice but to be on the front lines of his school’s desegregation. What he did not realize until he began to meet these new students was just how deeply ingrained his own prejudices were and how those prejudices had developed in him despite the fact that prior to starting sixth grade, he had actually never known any black people. Now, more than forty years later, Grimsley looks back at that school and those times--remembering his own first real encounters with black children and their culture. The result is a narrative both true and deeply moving. Jim takes readers into those classrooms and onto the playing fields as, ever so tentatively, alliances were forged and friendships established. And looking back from today’s perspective, he examines how far we have really come.

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