Ann Petry's Short Fiction: Critical Essays

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This collection of critical essays is the first work to examine the short stories of Ann Petry, a noted African American writer. While best known for her best-selling debut novel, The Street, the focus of this text is her equally important, but less familiar, volume of short stories Miss Muriel and Other Stories. Within Ann Petry's Short Fiction: Critical Essays, contributors from a variety of disciplines, from literary studies to philosophy, analyze and comment on stories such as Mother Africa, In Darkness and ...

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Overview

This collection of critical essays is the first work to examine the short stories of Ann Petry, a noted African American writer. While best known for her best-selling debut novel, The Street, the focus of this text is her equally important, but less familiar, volume of short stories Miss Muriel and Other Stories. Within Ann Petry's Short Fiction: Critical Essays, contributors from a variety of disciplines, from literary studies to philosophy, analyze and comment on stories such as Mother Africa, In Darkness and Confusion, and The Witness.

Organized into three parts, the first section provides an overview of Petry's short fiction from different theoretical perspectives. In the following two segments, essays are arranged in chronological order, beginning with Petry's work from the 1940s. Contributors discuss her portrayal of characters and conflict as well as thematic threads that run through Petry's work. Taken together, these 14 essays constitute an invaluable companion to Petry's work. This illuminating collection will interest scholars of literature, history, and culture, as well as anyone interested in the fiction of Ann Petry.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

HAZEL ARNETT ERVIN is Associate Professor of English, Department of English, Morehouse College.

HILARY HOLLADAY is a Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, where she teaches African American Literature, Literature of the Beat Movement, and Modern Poetry. She is the author of Ann Petry Twayne, 1996 and Wild Blessings: The Poetry of Lucille Clifton LSU Press, 2004.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
A world made cunningly : a closer look at Ann Petry's short fiction 1
Ann Petry and African poetics : a review of "Solo on the drums" 13
Folk traditions in the short fiction of Ann Petry 19
Artistic discourse in three short stories by Ann Petry 31
Jazz/blues structure in Ann Petry's "Solo on the drums" 49
"Miss Muriel" : rewriting innocence into experience 59
"From a thousand different points of view" : the multiple masculinities of Ann Petry's "Miss Muriel" 79
Riot as ritual : Ann Petry's "In darkness and confusion" 97
"Ain't no room for us anywhere" : reading Ann Petry's "In darkness and confusion" as a migration narrative 105
Apartheid among the dead; or, on Christian laughter in Ann Petry's "The bones of Louella Brown" 111
The narrator as feminist ally in Ann Petry's "The bones of Louella Brown" 119
Taking the cake : Ann Petry's "Has anybody seen Miss Dora Dean?" 125
"The man who cried I am" : reading race, class, and gender in Ann Petry's "The witness" 141
Traumatic reenactment and the impossibility of African American testimony in Ann Petry's "Like a winding sheet" and "The witness" 153
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