Literature of the American South / Edition 1by William L. Andrews, Minrose C. Gwwin, Trudier Harris
Pub. Date: 10/01/1997
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
For nearly four centuries, the American South has been home to a vital literary tradition. The Literature of the American South reconsiders southern writing from its seventeenth-century origins to its flourishing present. Featuring the works of eighty-seven classic, contemporary, and newly recovered writers of all genrespoetry, short fiction, drama, novels, autobiography, criticism, sermons, memoirs, journals, and lettersthis groundbreaking anthology sheds new light on the creative power of the southern imagination. This Norton anthology represents major authors in the traditionPoe, Douglass, Clemens, Ransom, Toomer, Faulkner, Penn Warren, Hellman, Welty, Williams, Jarrell, McCullers, Dickey, and O'Connor. In addition, the current, thriving state of southern literature is presented in the anthology's largest section, "The Contemporary South: 1940-Present," with works by Dorothy Allison, Lee Smith, Yusef Komunyakaa, Randall Kenan, and Henry Louis Gates Jr., among many others. The Literature of the American South opens up the concept of "southern literature" across lines of color, gender, and class, embracing both urban and agrarian cultures and bringing into the classroom the ongoing dialogues and debates over crucial questions such as southern identity, racial justice, the image of southern womanhood, and the role of art in society. "Vernacular Traditions," Section Four of the anthology, prints a range of texts that makes clear the powerful presence and literary influence of singing, preaching, and storytellingforms of expression among the most long-lived, adaptable, and vital of the vernacular traditions of the American South. Like otherNorton anthologies, The Literature of the American South provides lively, informative period introductions, author headnotes, annotations that are explanatory not interpretive, and selected bibliographies.
Author Biography: William L. Andrews, General Editor (Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), is E. Maynard Adams Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt and To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of Afro-American Autobiography, 1760-1865. He is an editor of The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, a co-editor of The Oxford Companion to African American Literature, and the General Editor of the Wisconsin Studies in American Autobiography. Minrose C. Gwin (Ph.D. University of Tennessee) is professor of English at the University of New Mexico. She is the author of The Feminine and Faulkner: Reading (Beyond) Sexual Difference and Black and White Women of the Old South: The Peculiar Sisterhood in American Literature. Trudier Harris (Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is the author of five books, most recently The Power of the Porch: The Storyteller's Craft in Zora Neale Hurston, Gloria Naylor, and Randall Kenan, and a co-editor of The Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States and The Oxford Companion to African American Literature. Fred Hobson (Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is Lineberger Professor in the Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of numerous books, most recently Mencken: A Life and The Southern Writer in the Postmodern World, and a co-editor of Southern Literary Journal.
I particularly like the efforts made by the editors to reflect the diversity of the American South. (Barbara Ladd, Emory University)
The anthology gives us the best of traditional and postmodern possibilities. (Jerry W. Ward Jr., Tougaloo College)
With its scope and variety, it would be very easy to structure a course with this anthology alone. (Will Brantley, Middle Tennessee State University)
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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