Author: John Kevin Young
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Jean Toomer's "Cane" was advertised as "a book about Negroes by a Negro," despite his request not to promote the book along such racial lines. Nella Larsen switched the title of her second novel from "Nig" to "Passing," because an editor felt the original title "might be too inflammatory." In order to publish his first novel as a Book-of-the-Month Club main selection Richard Wright deleted a scene in "Native Son" depicting Bigger Thomas masturbating. Toni Morrison changed the last word of "Beloved" at her editor's request and switched the title of "Paradise" from "War" to allay her publisher's marketing concerns. Although many editors place demands on their authors, these examples invite special scholarly attention given the power imbalance between white editors and publishers and African American authors. "Black Writers, White Publishers: Marketplace Politics in Twentieth-Century African American Literature" examines the complex negotiations behind the production of African American literature. In chapters on Larsen's "Passing," Ishmael Reed's "Mumbo Jumbo," Gwendolyn Brooks's "Children Coming Home," Morrison's "Oprah's Book Club" selections, and Ralph Ellison's "Juneteenth," John K. Young presents the first book-length application of editorial theory to African American literature. Focusing on the manuscripts, drafts, book covers, colophons, and advertisements that trace book production, Young expands upon the concept of socialized authorship and demonstrates how the study of publishing history and practice and African American literary criticism enrich each other. John K. Young is an associate professor of English at Marshall University. His work has appeared in journals such as "College English," "African American Review," and "Critique."
The Crisis, founded by W.E.B. Du Bois as the official publication of the NAACP, is a journal of civil rights, history, politics, and culture and seeks to educate and challenge its readers about issues that continue to plague African Americans and other communities of color. For nearly 100 years, The Crisis has been the magazine of opinion and thought leaders, decision makers, peacemakers and justice seekers. It has chronicled, informed, educated, entertained and, in many instances, set the economic, political and social agenda for our nation and its multi-ethnic citizens.
Author: Lovalerie King
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Release Date: 2013-08-28
Genre: Literary Criticism
In this volume, Lovalerie King and Shirley Moody-Turner have compiled a collection of essays that offer access to some of the most innovative contemporary black fiction while addressing important issues in current African American literary studies. Distinguished scholars Houston Baker, Trudier Harris, Darryl Dickson-Carr, and Maryemma Graham join writers and younger scholars to explore the work of Toni Morrison, Edward P. Jones, Trey Ellis, Paul Beatty, Mat Johnson, Kyle Baker, Danzy Senna, Nikki Turner, and many others. The collection is bracketed by a foreword by novelist and graphic artist Mat Johnson, one of the most exciting and innovative contemporary African American writers, and an afterword by Alice Randall, author of the controversial parody The Wind Done Gone. Together, King and Moody-Turner make the case that diversity, innovation, and canon expansion are essential to maintaining the vitality of African American literary studies.
Author: Mildred R. Mickle
Publisher: Salem PressInc
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Literary Criticism
With her mastery of traditional verse forms and insightful treatment of race, Gwendolyn Brooks carved a unique space for herself within American poetry. This title offers an introduction that reflects on Brooks' legacy, locating her work as a bridge between the poets of the Harlem Renaissance and the poets of the black arts movement.
Author: Madhu Dubey
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2007-11-01
Genre: Social Science
Signs and Cities is the first book to consider what it means to speak of a postmodern moment in African-American literature. Dubey argues that for African-American studies, postmodernity best names a period, beginning in the early 1970s, marked by acute disenchantment with the promises of urban modernity and of print literacy. Dubey shows how black novelists from the last three decades have reconsidered the modern urban legacy and thus articulated a distinctly African-American strain of postmodernism. She argues that novelists such as Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany, Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Ishmael Reed, Sapphire, and John Edgar Wideman probe the disillusionment of urban modernity through repeated recourse to tropes of the book and scenes of reading and writing. Ultimately, she demonstrates that these writers view the book with profound ambivalence, construing it as an urban medium that cannot recapture the face-to-face communities assumed by oral and folk forms of expression.