Finding a Way Home: A Critical Assessment of Walter Mosley's Fiction

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Essays by Owen E. Brady, Kelly C. Connelly, Juan F. Elices, Keith Hughes, Derek C. Maus, Jerrilyn McGregory, Laura Quinn, Francesca Canadé Sautman, Daniel Stein, Lisa B. Thompson, Terrence Tucker, and Albert U. Turner, Jr.

In Finding a Way Home, thirteen essays by scholars from four countries trace Walter Mosley's distinctive approach to representing African American responses to the feeling of homelessness in an inhospitable America. Mosley (b. 1952) writes frequently of characters trying to construct an idea of home and wrest a sense of dignity, belonging, and hope from cultural and communal resources. These essays examine Mosley's queries about the meaning of "home" in various social and historical contexts. Essayists consider the concept—whether it be material, social, cultural, or virtual—in all three of Mosley's detective/crime fiction series (Easy Rawlins, Socrates Fortlow, and Fearless Jones), his three books of speculative fiction, two of his "literary" novels (RL's Dream, The Man in My Basement), and in his recent social and political nonfiction.

Essays here explore Mosley's modes of expression, his testing of the limitations of genre, his political engagement in prose, his utopian/dystopian analyses, and his uses of parody and vernacular culture. Finding a Way Home provides rich discussions, explaining the development of Mosley's work.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604730883
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 8/25/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Owen E. Brady is associate professor of humanities and coordinator of the American studies program at Clarkson University. His work has appeared in Callaloo; Obsidian: Black Literature in Review; and many other periodicals.

Derek C. Maus is associate professor of English at the State University of New York, Potsdam. His work has appeared in Symbolism and other periodicals.

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Table of Contents

Walter Mosley's RL's Dream and the Creation of a Blutopian Community Daniel Stein Stein, Daniel 3

Socrates Fortlow's Odyssey: The Quest for Home and Self Owen E. Brady Brady, Owen E. 18

Walter Mosley, Socratic Method, and the Black Atlantic Keith Hughes Hughes, Keith 30

Devil with the Blue Eyes: Reclaiming the Human against Pure Evil in Walter Mosley's The Man in My Basement Francesca Canade Sautman Sautman, Francesca Canade 44

Easy Women: Black Beauty in Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins Mystery Series Lisa B. Thompson Thompson, Lisa B. 58

The Visible Man: Moving Beyond False Visibility in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins Novels Kelly C. Connelly Connelly, Kelly C. 70

Fearless Ezekiel: Alterity in the Detective Fiction of Walter Mosley Jerrilyn McGregory McGregory, Jerrilyn 84

American Negroes Revisited: The Intellectual and The Badman in Walter Mosley's Fearless Jones Novels Terrence Tucker Tucker, Terrence 97

At Home on "These Mean Streets": Collaboration and Community in Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins Mystery Series Albert U. Turner, Jr. Turner, Albert U., Jr. 109

The Mouse Will Play: The Parodic in Walter Mosley's Fiction Laura Quinn Quinn, Laura 121

Shadows of an Imminent Future: Walter Mosley's Dystopia and Science Fiction Juan F. Elices Elices, Juan F. 133

Cyberfunk: Walter Mosley Takes Black to the Future Derek C. Maus Maus, Derek C. 148

Epilogue: Whither Walter? A Brief Overview of Mosley's Recent Work Owen E. Brady Brady, Owen E. Derek C. Maus Maus, Derek C. 161

Works Cited 177

Contributors 189

Index 193

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