After the Pain: Critical Essays on Gayl Jones

After the Pain: Critical Essays on Gayl Jones

by Fiona Mills, Keith B. Mitchell
     
 

As a poet, playwright, novelist, short-story writer, and critic, Gayl Jones has always resisted labels in her quest to find a liberating voice for black women and herself. With a poet’s lyricism and a musician’s ear for rhythm, she continually seeks new ways to confront the barriers, traumas, insecurities, and prejudices oppressing black women, and, by

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Overview

As a poet, playwright, novelist, short-story writer, and critic, Gayl Jones has always resisted labels in her quest to find a liberating voice for black women and herself. With a poet’s lyricism and a musician’s ear for rhythm, she continually seeks new ways to confront the barriers, traumas, insecurities, and prejudices oppressing black women, and, by extension, all women. After the Pain: Critical Essays on Gayl Jones is the first comprehensive collection of essays dedicated solely to the exploration of Jones’s work. Ranging from analyses of her use of language and music to reevaluations of her representation of sexuality and gender roles to examinations of the oft-overlooked connections between Latin America and African Americans, each of these essays investigates Jones’s desire to continually complicate the process of identity formation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
«At last, a serious, sophisticated, audacious collection of scholarly essays worthy of the reach and imagination of Gayle Jones’s craft. ‘After the Pain’ approaches Jones’s career with the fresh eyes of critics willfully unencumbered by the obscurant niceties of traditional African American literary criticism. Mills and Mitchell have done the fields of African-American and American literature an incalculable service. Gayle Jones is a literary giant and to continue to pretend not to notice her genius, because we have not yet wholly grasped it, diminishes us more than her. Compellingly, ‘After the Pain’ challenges the black literary orthodoxy by calling into question Jones’s exclusion from it. Its unified labor to reclaim Gayle Jones shows a caring for Jones, for black women writers, and for the truth of race, sex, and silenced subjects seldom achieved in critical collections. ‘After the Pain’ is a necessary work. Most necessary.» (Maurice O. Wallace, Associate Professor of English and Associate Professor of African & African American Studies, Duke University)
«Gayl Jones is one of the most provocative African American writers of the second half of the twentieth century, and she has long deserved the keen and perceptive examination of her work offered here. This landmark collection of illuminating essays covers the full range of Jones’s work, from her controversial ‘Corregidora’ and ‘Eva’s Man’ to her more recent and remarkable ‘Mosquito’. This anthology will prove indispensable to students, scholars, and teachers alike - to those who read Jones as well as those who study her sharp, unflinching portrayals of women and men struggling with the complex and contradictory inheritance of North American slavery. Every page flashes with the knife of close insight.» (Jennifer Cognard-Black, Asstistant Professor of English, St. Mary’s College of Maryland)
«With the publication of ‘After the Pain: Critical Essays on Gayl Jones’, Fiona Mills and Keith B. Mitchell take up the long overdue task of retrieving Jones from the margins of African-American literary studies. Their work of reclamation is indeed comparable to Alice Walker’s artistic «excavation» in the 1970s of Zora Neale Hurston’s oeuvre. The conclusions drawn in these sophisticated, theoretically dexterous essays are as startling and imaginative as the subject herself; undoubtedly, this book will re-map the boundaries of the African American literary landscape and help situate Jones into her deserved place as a major voice within the canon. This pioneering work will fill a critical lacuna in Jones scholarship; introduce and re-introduce an artist whose rich and voluminous writings merit a wider readership; and stimulate further critical interrogation of an iconoclastic, nuanced author whose fiction defies facile literary categorization.» (Keith Clark, Associate Professor of English and African American Studies, George Mason University)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820478388
Publisher:
Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
06/09/2006
Series:
African-American Literature and Culture Series: Expanding and Exploding the Boundaries, #8
Pages:
266

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