From Ishmael Reed and Toni Morrison to Colson Whitehead and Terry McMillan, Darryl Dickson-Carr offers a definitive guide to contemporary African American literature. This volume-the only reference work devoted exclusively to African American fiction of the last thirty-five years-presents a wealth of factual and interpretive information about the major authors, texts, movements, and ideas that have shaped contemporary African American fiction. In more than 160 concise entries, arranged alphabetically, Dickson-Carr discusses the careers, works, and critical receptions of Alice Walker, Gloria Naylor, Jamaica Kincaid, Charles Johnson, John Edgar Wideman, Leon Forrest, as well as other prominent and lesser-known authors. Each entry presents ways of reading the author's works, identifies key themes and influences, assesses the writer's overarching significance, and includes sources for further research. Dickson-Carr addresses the influence of a variety of literary movements, critical theories, and publishers of African American work. Topics discussed include the Black Arts Movement, African American postmodernism, feminism, and the influence of hip-hop, the blues, and jazz on African American novelists. In tracing these developments, Dickson-Carr examines the multitude of ways authors have portrayed the diverse experiences of African Americans. The Columbia Guide to Contemporary African American Fiction situates African American fiction in the social, political, and cultural contexts of post-Civil Rights era America: the drug epidemics of the 1980s and 1990s and the concomitant "war on drugs," the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement, the struggle for gay rights, feminism, the rise of HIV/AIDS, and racism's continuing effects on African American communities. Dickson-Carr also discusses the debates and controversies regarding the role of literature in African American life. The volume concludes with an extensive annotated bibliography of African American fiction and criticism.
From the outset, South Africa's history has been marked by division and conflict along racial and ethnic lines. From 1948 until 1994, this division was formalized in the National Party's policy of apartheid. Because apartheid intruded on every aspect of private and public life, South African literature was preoccupied with the politics of race and social engineering. Since the release from prison of Nelson Mandela in 1990, South Africa has been a new nation-in-the-making, inspired by a nonracial idealism yet beset by poverty and violence. South African writers have responded in various ways to Njabulo Ndebele's call to "rediscover the ordinary." The result has been a kaleidoscope of texts in which evolving cultural forms and modes of identity are rearticulated and explored. An invaluable guide for general readers as well as scholars of African literary history, this comprehensive text celebrates the multiple traditions and exciting future of the South African voice. Although the South African Constitution of 1994 recognizes no fewer than eleven official languages, English has remained the country's literary lingua franca. This book offers a narrative overview of South African literary production in English from 1945 to the postapartheid present. An introduction identifies the most interesting and noteworthy writing from the period. Alphabetical entries provide accurate and objective information on genres and writers. An appendix lists essential authors published before 1945.
In this expertly crafted, richly detailed guide, Raymond Leslie Williams explores the cultural, political, and historical events that have shaped the Latin American and Caribbean novel since the end of World War II. In addition to works originally composed in English, Williams covers novels written in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, and Haitian Creole, and traces the profound influence of modernization, revolution, and democratization on the writing of this era. Beginning in 1945, Williams introduces major trends by region, including the Caribbean and U.S. Latino novel, the Mexican and Central American novel, the Andean novel, the Southern Cone novel, and the novel of Brazil. He discusses the rise of the modernist novel in the 1940s, led by Jorge Luis Borges's reaffirmation of the right of invention, and covers the advent of the postmodern generation of the 1990s in Brazil, the Generation of the "Crack" in Mexico, and the McOndo generation in other parts of Latin America. An alphabetical guide offers biographies of authors, coverage of major topics, and brief introductions to individual novels. It also addresses such areas as women's writing, Afro-Latin American writing, and magic realism. The guide's final section includes an annotated bibliography of introductory studies on the Latin American and Caribbean novel, national literary traditions, and the work of individual authors. From early attempts to synthesize postcolonial concerns with modernist aesthetics to the current focus on urban violence and globalization, The Columbia Guide to the Latin American Novel Since 1945 presents a comprehensive, accessible portrait of a thoroughly diverse and complex branch of world literature.
Composed by a premier scholar of African literature, this volume is a comprehensive guide to the literary traditions of Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, and Nigeria, five distinct countries bound by their experience with colonialism. Oyekan Owomoyela begins with an overview of the authors, texts, and historical events that have shaped the development of postwar Anglophone literatures in this region, exploring shifts in theme and the role of foreign sponsorship and illuminating recent debates regarding the language, identity, gender, and social commitments of various authors and their works. His introduction concludes with a bibliography of key critical texts. The second half of the volume is an alphabetical tour of writers, publications, concepts, genres, movements, and institutions, with suggested readings for further research. Entries focus primarily on fiction but also touch on drama and poetry. Featured authors include Chris Abani, Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Cyprian Ekwensi, Uzodinma Chukuka Iweala, Helen Oyeyemi, and Wole Soyinka. Topics range from the European origins of African literature and the West African diaspora to the development of an "African personality," the establishment of a regional publishing industry, and the global literary marketplace. Owomoyela also discusses such influences as the postwar emergence of Onitsha Market Literature, the Mbari Club, and the importance of the Noma Award. Owomoyela's portrait points to the major impact of West African literature on the evolution of both African and world literatures in English. Sure to become the definitive text for research in the field, The Columbia Guide to West African Literature in English Since 1945 is a vital resource for newcomers as well as for advanced scholars seeking a deeper understanding of the region's rich literary heritage.
Columbia's guides to postwar African literature paint a unique portrait of the continent's rich and diverse literary traditions. This volume examines the rapid rise and growth of modern literature in the three postcolonial nations of Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia. It tracks the multiple political and economic pressures that have shaped Central African writing since the end of World War II and reveals its authors' heroic efforts to keep their literary traditions alive in the face of extreme poverty and AIDS. Adrian Roscoe begins with a list of key political events. Since writers were composing within both colonial and postcolonial contexts, he pays particular attention to the nature of British colonialism, especially theories regarding its provenance and motivation. Roscoe discusses such historical figures as David Livingstone, Cecil Rhodes, and Sir Harry Johnston, as well as modern power players, including Robert Mugabe, Kenneth Kaunda, and Kamuzu Banda. He also addresses efforts to create a literary-historical record from an African perspective, an account that challenges white historiographies in which the colonized was neither agent nor informer. A comprehensive alphabetical guide profiles both established and emerging authors and further illustrates issues raised in the introduction. Roscoe then concludes with a detailed bibliography recommending additional reading and sources. At the close of World War II the people of Central Africa found themselves mired in imperial fatigue and broken promises of freedom. This fueled a desire for liberation and a major surge in literary production, and in this illuminating guide Roscoe details the campaigns for social justice and political integrity, for education and economic empowerment, and for gender equity, participatory democracy, rural development, and environmental care that characterized this exciting period of development.
The Columbia Guide to East African Literature in English Since 1945 challenges the conventional belief that the English-language literary traditions of East Africa are restricted to the former British colonies of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Instead, these traditions stretch far into such neighboring countries as Somalia and Ethiopia. Simon Gikandi and Evan Mwangi assemble a truly inclusive list of major writers and trends. They begin with a chronology of key historical events and an overview of the emergence and transformation of literary culture in the region. Then they provide an alphabetical list of major writers and brief descriptions of their concerns and achievements. Some of the writers discussed include the Kenyan novelists Grace Ogot and Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Ugandan poet and essayist Taban Lo Liyong, Ethiopian playwright and poet Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin, Tanzanian novelist and diplomat Peter Palangyo, Ethiopian novelist Berhane Mariam Sahle-Sellassie, and the novelist M. G. Vassanji, who portrays the Indian diaspora in Africa, Europe, and North America. Separate entries within this list describe thematic concerns, such as colonialism, decolonization, the black aesthetic, and the language question; the growth of genres like autobiography and popular literature; important movements like cultural nationalism and feminism; and the impact of major forces such as AIDS/HIV, Christian missions, and urbanization. Comprehensive and richly detailed, this guide offers a fresh perspective on the role of East Africa in the development of African and world literature in English and a new understanding of the historical, cultural, and geopolitical boundaries of the region.
Essays exploring contemporary black fiction and examining important issues in current African American literary studies. 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. “A compelling collection of essays on the ongoing relevance of African American literature to our collective understanding of American history, society, and culture. Featuring a wide array of writers from all corners of the literary academy, the book will have national appeal and offer strategies for teaching African American literature in colleges and universities across the country.” —Gene Jarrett, Boston University “[This book describes] a fruitful tension that brings scholars of major reputation together with newly emerging critics to explore the full range of literary activities that have flourished in the post-Civil Rights era. Notable are such popular influences as hip-hop music and Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club.” —American Literary Scholarship, 2013
The Columbia Guide to American Indian Literatures of the United States Since 1945 is the first major volume of its kind to focus on Native literatures in a postcolonial context. Written by a team of noted Native and non-Native scholars, these essays consider the complex social and political influences that have shaped American Indian literatures in the second half of the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on core themes of identity, sovereignty, and land. In his essay comprising part I of the volume, Eric Cheyfitz argues persuasively for the necessary conjunction of Indian literatures and federal Indian law from Apess to Alexie. Part II is a comprehensive survey of five genres of literature: fiction (Arnold Krupat and Michael Elliott), poetry (Kimberly Blaeser), drama (Shari Huhndorf), nonfiction (David Murray), and autobiography (Kendall Johnson), and discusses the work of Vine Deloria Jr., N. Scott Momaday, Joy Harjo, Simon Ortiz, Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, Gerald Vizenor, Jimmy Santiago Baca, and Sherman Alexie, among many others. Drawing on historical and theoretical frameworks, the contributors examine how American Indian writers and critics have responded to major developments in American Indian life and how recent trends in Native writing build upon and integrate traditional modes of storytelling. Sure to be considered a groundbreaking contribution to the field, The Columbia Guide to American Indian Literatures of the United States Since 1945 offers both a rich critique of history and a wealth of new information and insight.
This four-volume encyclopedia contains compelling and comprehensive information on African American popular culture that will be valuable to high school students and undergraduates, college instructors, researchers, and general readers. • Contains writings from 100 contributing authors, all identified in a separate listing • Includes a chronology placing pivotal events—such as the beginning of black baseball, the modern Civil Rights Movement, and the Harlem Renaissance—in historical context • Depicts key places, events, and people through photographs as well as words • Provides a list of black radio programs and movies
This essential volume provides an overview of and introduction to African American writers and literary periods from its beginning through the 21st century. Provides an essential introduction to African American writers and topics, from the beginning of the 20th century into the 21st Covers the major authors and key topics in African American literature Gives students an accessible and approachable overview of African American literature
Perhaps the brevity of short fiction accounts for the relatively scant attention devoted to it by scholars, who have historically concentrated on longer prose narratives. The Geographies of African American Short Fiction seeks to fill this gap by analyzing the ways African American short story writers plotted a diverse range of characters across multiple locations—small towns, a famous metropolis, city sidewalks, a rural wooded area, apartment buildings, a pond, a general store, a prison, and more. In the process, these writers highlighted the extents to which places and spaces shaped or situated racial representations. Presenting African American short story writers as cultural cartographers, author Kenton Rambsy documents the variety of geographical references within their short stories to show how these authors make cultural spaces integral to their artwork and inscribe their stories with layered and resonant social histories. The history of these short stories also documents the circulation of compositions across dozens of literary collections for nearly a century. Anthology editors solidified the significance of a core group of short story authors including James Baldwin, Toni Cade Bambara, Charles Chesnutt, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, and Richard Wright. Using quantitative information and an extensive literary dataset, The Geographies of African American Short Fiction explores how editorial practices shaped the canon of African American short fiction.