Children of the Night: The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, 1967 to the Present

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In 1969, Little, Brown and Company published The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, edited by Langston Hughes - the classic compendium of African-American short fiction from 1897 to 1967. Now, a quarter of a century later, Gloria Naylor has compiled an encore volume, Children of the Night, bringing this extraordinary series up to date. Gathering together the most gifted black writers of our time - from 1967 to the present - Naylor has assembled a rich and varied collection of stories. The portrait that emerges ...
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1995 Hardcover First Edition; First Printing New in New dust jacket 0316599263. Book and DJ are New, first edition, first printing, Edited by Gloria Naylor, B-124, ; 9.20 X 6.40 ... X 1.80 inches; 569 pages. Read more Show Less

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0316599263 Only 1 copy left! Clean, unmarked copy. Hardcover, with dust jacket- In excellent shape! I can send expedited rate if you chose; otherwise it will promptly be sent ... via media rate. Have any questions? Email me; I'm happy to help! Read more Show Less

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Overview

In 1969, Little, Brown and Company published The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, edited by Langston Hughes - the classic compendium of African-American short fiction from 1897 to 1967. Now, a quarter of a century later, Gloria Naylor has compiled an encore volume, Children of the Night, bringing this extraordinary series up to date. Gathering together the most gifted black writers of our time - from 1967 to the present - Naylor has assembled a rich and varied collection of stories. The portrait that emerges of the African-American experience in the post-Civil Rights era is stirring, compelling, sometimes disturbing, and certainly provocative. Naylor has arranged the stories thematically so the reader focuses on a particular subject - slavery, for example, or the family. In the hands of different writers, these themes provide a wealth and variety of human experience. The stories are more than testimonies of the long battle for survival. From a young woman's struggles with her barren faith in Alice Walker's lyrical "The Diary of an African Nun" to an innocent man's involvement in a horrifying act of violence in Ann Petry's "The Witness," they are, as Naylor states in her introduction, "examples of affirmation: of memory, of history, of family, of being." They are stories for all of us "at the beginning: of mankind as a species; of America as a nation; of the African-American as a full citizen."

National Book Award-winning author Gloria Naylor introduces this powerful collection of the finest contemporary short fiction by African-American writers, featuring works by Maya Angelou, John Edgar Wideman, Ntozake Shange, Rita Dove, Jamaica Kincaid, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, and many others. Black History Month promo.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The ``best'' short stories seems an oddly cliquish categorization for any treasury of African American writing, if only because black authors have long expressed displeasure at their own exclusion from the canon. Yet this superb collection lives up to its billing; the 37 stories unabashedly depict the great diversity of black life. Compiled by Naylor The Women of Brewster Place, the anthology includes such familiar names as Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Charles Johnson, Ralph Ellison, Jamaica Kincaid and Ntozake Shange, and such relative newcomers as Edwige Danticat. In their tales, characters normally found in the wings of fiction move to center stage, and some conventional literary perspectives as perceived by white Americans are turned inside out. In the stories about slavery, literature challenges mythical history as a source of authority about the past. Sherley Anne Williams's ``Meditation on History'' is by turns ironic and heartrending in its account of a slave uprising from the points of view of the aggrieved, patronizing master and the desperate slaves. Likewise, depictions of plantation life by John Edgar Wideman, Samuel Delaney and Carolivia Herron explode the nostalgic myth of gentility and loss exemplified by Gone with the Wind. James Baldwin's ``Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone,'' as well as coming-of-age narratives by Toni Cade Bambara and Harold Gordon, features protagonists looking back to that moment when their vague, pervasive uneasiness culminates in bitter recognition of disenfranchisement. Freed from ideological constraints, many of the writers lead their characters bravely through the shadowy realm of racial ambivalence. The collection, in fact, highlights an African American tradition that has itself come of age, one that is poised to irrevocably alter the country's literary sensibilities. Feb.
Library Journal
Both these collections are fabulous. Although some authors-e.g., Rita Dove, Alice Walker, Ann Petry-appear in both works, there is no repetition of material, and each title contains stories by many less-familiar authors. There are a few major differences in emphasis. Revolutionary Tales is chronological, starting in 1859, and its focus is the work of African American women. Children of the Night includes male and female authors, stressing the period 1967 to the present. The former has useful annotations at the beginning of each piece, while the latter has tried to provide a sequel to the well-received short story collection of 1969 (Best Short Stories by Black Writers), edited by Langston Hughes. In her editor's note, Naylor (Bailey's Cafe, LJ 9/1/92) makes it clear that her choices are bound together by differing treatment of the same subject and by geographic location. Both books include biographical information about their respective contributors, but Revolutionary Tales is more detailed. Readers who want a glimpse of the breadth of African American life will not be disappointed by either work. If there is room in your library budget, buy copies of both.-Susan M. Olcott, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., Ohio
Kathleen Hughes
Editor Naylor has come very close to her stated goal of including all the myriad black experiences within one anthology. In its four sections--remembering, affirming, revealing the self divided, and moving on--readers can easily find stories on such subjects as slavery, changing times, family, faith, "them and us," and launching the future. Although there are contributions by famous authors, such as Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, and James Baldwin, generally it is the stories by lesser-known writers that shine. In "Louisiana, 1840," Jewelle Gomez tells of an escaped slave, a young woman hunted and terrified, who finds love, knowledge, and eternal life when she makes the acquaintance of two vampires. In "After Dreaming of President Johnson," Howard Gordon relates the story of a young child's first encounter with the unreasonable hatred fostered by racism. In "The Lesson," Toni Cade Bambara recounts a trip to F. A. O. Schwartz, during which a $1,000 child's toy underscores the inequities of life for a young girl and her friends. In this brilliant collection of superb writing, each story provides keen insights told in heartbreakingly beautiful prose.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316599269
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 2/1/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 569
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.55 (d)

Table of Contents

Editor's Note
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Children of the Night
Tale of Gorgik 1979 5
Meditations on History 1980 58
Damballah 1981 100
Louisiana: 1850 1991 109
Remember Him a Outlaw 1972 152
Mother 1984 163
Long Distances 1989 172
After Dreaming of President Johnson 1992 180
Neighbors 1967 189
The Witness 1971 205
Steady Going Up 1972 223
The Lesson 1977 232
Kiswana Browne 1982 240
Second-Hand Man 1985 255
Crusader Rabbit 1988 262
Silences 1990 269
Proper Library 1993 280
Diary of an African Nun 1973 296
In a House of Wooden Monkeys 1989 300
Young Reverend Zelma Lee Moses 1990 304
Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone 1968 324
By the Way of Morning Fire 1983 352
China 1986 360
Blackness 1983 381
Lost in the City 1992 385
Run, Mourner, Run 1992 394
Blues for Little Prez 1973 414
Ma'Dear 1990 423
Transaction 1992 434
A Loaf of Bread 1972 445
Backwacking, a Plea to the Senator 1977 464
The Woman Who Would Eat Flowers 1990 471
And Love Them? 1993 502
An Area in the Cerebral Hemisphere 1975 523
oh she gotta head fulla hair 1978 529
That Place 1987 532
New York Day Women 1995 562
Biographies 567
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