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The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

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Designed to meet the needs of high school students, undergraduates, and general readers, this encyclopedia is the most comprehensive reference available on African American literature from its origins to the present. Other works include many brief entries, or offer extended biographical sketches of a limited selection of writers. This encyclopedia surpasses existing references by offering full and current coverage of a vast range of authors and topics. While most of the entries are on individual authors, the ...

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Overview

Designed to meet the needs of high school students, undergraduates, and general readers, this encyclopedia is the most comprehensive reference available on African American literature from its origins to the present. Other works include many brief entries, or offer extended biographical sketches of a limited selection of writers. This encyclopedia surpasses existing references by offering full and current coverage of a vast range of authors and topics. While most of the entries are on individual authors, the encyclopedia gathers together information about the genres and geographical and cultural environments in which these writers have worked, and the social, political, and aesthetic movements in which they have participated. Thus the encyclopedia gives special attention to the historical and cultural forces that have shaped African American writing. In addition to drawing upon the learning of Hans Ostrom, J. David Macey, Jr., and more than 200 expert contributors, the encyclopedia benefits from an editorial board of such distinguished scholars as:

  • Houston A. Baker, Jr.
  • Emily Bernard
  • Michele Elam
  • Dolan Hubbard
  • And Sheila Smith McKoy. Included are more than 1000 alphabetically arranged entries on such authors and topics as:
  • Affirmative Action
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Black Panther Party
  • Censorship
  • Melvin Dixon
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Ralph Ellison
  • Folklore
  • Gothic Literature
  • Alex Haley
  • Zora Neale Hurston
  • Gloria Naylor
  • Ntozake Shange
  • And many more. Features:
  • Covers African American literature from its origins to the present day.
  • Includes more than 1,000 entries by more than 200 scholars.
  • Provides extensive biographical and critical profiles of established and neglected writers.
  • Gives special attention to the contributions of women writers.
  • Provides full coverage of literary forms and genres, critical movements and terms, critics and scholars, literary schools and organizations, and other topics central to African American literature.
  • Stresses the social and historical contexts of African American literature through entries on cultural and historical figures, social issues, political and legal concerns, and significant events.
  • Entries cite numerous print and electronic resources for student research.
  • Includes a selected, general bibliography of the most important broad works on African American literature.
  • Includes an alphabetical list of entries.
  • Lists entries in topical categories.
  • Entries are fully cross-referenced.
  • Provides a detailed chronology.
  • Closes with an extensive index.
  • Offers valuable coverage of contemporary African American literature and popular culture.
  • Presents a generous selection of illustrations. Benefits:
  • Familiarizes students with literary authors and works central to American cultural diversity.
  • Acquaints students and teachers with the achievements of neglected African American writers.
  • Illuminates the achievements of women writers.
  • Uses literature to explore historical, political, and cultural issues and events.
  • Promotes respect for cultural diversity.
  • Chronicles and celebrates the accomplishments of African Americans.
  • Helps students compare and contrast a wide range of canonical and non-canonical writers and works.
  • Fosters an appreciation of linguistic diversity among different American ethnic groups.
  • Develops student analytical skills by demonstrating how to write about literature.
  • Encourages student research by citing numerous print and electronic works for further consultation. Because of its broad scope, substantial entries, current coverage, and extensive attention to historical, political, and social contexts, this encyclopedia will be the major resource for high school students and teachers interested in the full range of the African American experience. Academic and public libraries will also treasure this work as an incomparable guide to our nation's African American heritage.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This work is both ambitious and timely. Unlike biographically based references, it focuses on the texts of African American literature and the trends and events that have influenced it. Opening with an overview and chronology, the set has as its core over 1000 entries covering both canonized greats and lesser-known artists. These entries document the work of African American writers and their critics, literary forms and techniques, geographic hubs that generate significant output, and influential figures and movements that have shaped this diverse tradition. Compiled by Ostrom (English, Univ. of Puget Sound) and Macey (English, Univ. of Central Oklahoma) and written by over 200 scholars, the entries are accurate, cross-referenced, and appropriate in length to encyclopedic standards; photographs further augment the compilation's richness. The novice and the seasoned archivist alike are sure to encounter new names, faces, and histories. Bottom Line Given the work's scope, it is understandable that a few contributors would be overlooked, such as Paul Carter Harrison, Glenda Dickerson, and Margaret Wilkerson; additional African American theater groups; and major journals (e.g., African American Review). Overall, however, this is an important addition to all collections.-Carol Allen, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn Campus Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313329739
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Pages: 2010

Meet the Author

HANS OSTROM is Professor of English at the University of Puget Sound, where he teaches literature, creative writing, and rhetoric. He has published a novel and a book of poems and is also the author of Langston Hughes: A Study of the Short Fiction (1993) and A Langston Hughes Encyclopedia (Greenwood, 2002).

J. DAVID MACEY JR. is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he currently serves as Assistant Chair of the department. He previously taught at Vanderbilt University and the University of Puget Sound.

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Table of Contents

Alphabetical List of Entries

Guide to Related Topics

Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction

Chronology

The Encyclopedia

General Bibliography and Resources

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