The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature / Edition 1

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Overview

A breathtaking achievement, this Concise Companion is a suitable crown to the astonishing production in African American literature and criticism that has swept over American literary studies in the last two decades. It offers an enormous range of writers-from Sojourner Truth to Frederick Douglass, from Zora Neale Hurston to Ralph Ellison, and from Toni Morrison to August Wilson. It contains entries on major works (including synopses of novels), such as Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Richard Wright's Native Son, and Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. It also incorporates information on literary characters such as Bigger Thomas, Coffin Ed Johnson, Kunta Kinte, Sula Peace, as well as on character types such as Aunt Jemima, Brer Rabbit, John Henry, Stackolee, and the trickster. Icons of black culture are addressed, including vivid details about the lives of Muhammad Ali, John Coltrane, Marcus Garvey, Jackie Robinson, John Brown, and Harriet Tubman.
Here, too, are general articles on poetry, fiction, and drama; on autobiography, slave narratives, Sunday School literature, and oratory; as well as on a wide spectrum of related topics. Compact yet thorough, this handy volume gathers works from a vast array of sources—from the black periodical press to women's clubs—making it one of the most substantial guides available on the growing, exciting world of African American literature.

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Editorial Reviews

Copley News Service
This indespensable reference tool strives to include as much about African American literature as humanly possible. The editors succeed in creating a literature companion that acts as a launching pad to further study.
KLIATT
In 1997, Oxford University Press published a groundbreaking volume, The Oxford Companion to African American Literature, co-edited by three stellar scholars of Africana Studies, William Andrews, Frances Foster Smith, and Trudier Harris. The Companion, nearly 900 pages, was a bold endeavor, and proved a wonderful and welcome addition to the library of any student or scholar, specialist or dabbler, who appreciated the amazingly versatile cultural production of African Americans over the last 250 years. Andrews, Foster Smith and Harris have come together again to co-edit this concise edition, streamlined to a "mere" 488 pages. It does not feature any new entries and has omitted lesser-known authors. It has, however, reproduced in full the excellent critical articles, entries on major works, and synopses of novels that made the parent volume such a valuable reference tool, and has updated the bibliographies with the titles of works published since 1997. Also like the longer version, The Concise Companion features non-literary figures, black and otherwise, who have had a significant impact on African American culture generally: Billie Holliday and Mohammad Ali, but also John Brown and Abraham Lincoln. It's still not a "pocket book," but it is nevertheless a pleasure to have, and consult, over and over again. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Oxford Univ. Press, 488p. notes. index., $24.95. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Nada Elia; Visiting Assoc. Prof., Afro-American Studies, Brow , September 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195138832
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 1,103,590
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

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