This important book collects a wide range of fiction and poetry that first appeared in the pages of Callaloo, the premier literary journal devoted to African-diaspora literature and to Black literary and cultural studies. Founded twenty-five years ago—and still edited—by Charles Henry Rowell (Texas A&M University, College Station), Callaloo is both national and international in terms of scope and readership. It is also, as Henry Louis Gates, Jr., observed, "without doubt, the most elegantly edited journal of...
This important book collects a wide range of fiction and poetry that first appeared in the pages of Callaloo, the premier literary journal devoted to African-diaspora literature and to Black literary and cultural studies. Founded twenty-five years ago—and still edited—by Charles Henry Rowell (Texas A&M University, College Station), Callaloo is both national and international in terms of scope and readership. It is also, as Henry Louis Gates, Jr., observed, "without doubt, the most elegantly edited journal of African and African-American literature [of] today." This anthology, ideally suited for all readers studying modern Black literature, includes the work of Ralph Ellison, Alice Walker, Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Lucille Clifton, Terry McMillan, Ai, Nathaniel Mackey, John Edgar Wideman, Michael S. Harper, Charles Johnson, Thylias Moss, and many other distinguished authors.
HCallaloo, one of the most influential publications on the contemporary black literary scene, provided its founder, Rowell, an English professor at the University of Virginia, the place to publish some of the finest writers in the African diaspora, from the Caribbean and the Americas to Europe. Assembling in this volume an impressive array of short fiction and poetry from the magazine's first 25 years, Rowell showcases the universality of the black aesthetic while celebrating its diverse handling of themes of sexual identity, regional conflicts, racial contradiction, political mayhem and generational issues. Much of the fiction is by well-known writers, including Ralph Ellison's notorious excerpt "Cadillac Flamb " from the oft-maligned posthumous novel, Juneteenth, and Octavia Butler's popular tale "The Evening and the Morning and the Night." But almost all the offerings are stunningly fresh, including Samuel R. Delany's frank look at a former hustler (an excerpt from his novel Shoat Rumblin'), and a pair of tales about black womanhood by Helen Elaine Lee and Terry McMillan. Other writers featured include Maryse Cond , Gayl Jones, Edwidge Danticat, Wilson Harris, Leon Forrest, Charles Johnson and Thomas Glave. If the originality and richness of the collection's fiction makes this book an essential for collectors of black literature, then the lineup of poets Lucille Clifton, Yusef Komunyakaa, Rita Dove, Ai, Cyrus Cassells, Audre Lorde, Clarence Major, Sonia Sanchez among others makes it doubly enticing. This memorable anthology will add considerably to the reputation of Callaloo and its editor. (Jan.) Forecast: The broad scope and international sweep of this collection lift it head and shoulders above many other anthologies of black literature. Its quality and distinguished provenance should make it a strong backlist title. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
According to Rowell, editor and founder of the Callaloo journal, this is a collection of "the very best poetry and fiction published in the journal" since its inception in 1976. Indeed, it is an outstanding collection of literature of the African diaspora. African Americans like Octavia Butler, Ralph Ellison, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Alice Walker are featured, but this celebration also includes works by writers of African descent outside of America, including Aim C saire (Martinique), Maryse Cond (Guadeloupe), and Edimilson de Almeida Pereira (Brazil). The result ably represents the artistry of black literature and its diversity in culture, theme, and ideology. The foreword by Percival Everett, introduction by Rowell, and afterword by Carl Phillips are well worth reading for insight and perspective on the role of Callaloo in promoting art and aesthetics in black literature and freeing writing of the expectations of society. This book should be in all academic and large public libraries. Jeris Cassel, Rutgers Univ. Libs., New Brunswick, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
An anthology of fiction and poetry reprinted from the African-diaspora journal since its founding in 1976 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Among the better known writers represented are Octavia E. Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Ralph Ellison, Sonia Sanchez, and Alice Walker. Brief sketches of the writers are appended. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Founded 25 years ago by editor and University of Virginia professor Rowell (Ancestral House: The Black Short Story in the Americas and Europe, 1995), Callaloo has become one of the most important journals of literature by black authors. While mainstream publishing has emphasized black literature that is about being black, Rowell gave writers a forum in which to write without the burden of being spokespeople: the work was judged only on its own merits. The result is a journal with a distinguished record of outstanding writers, as we see here in stories and poetry from some of the best, including Octavia Butler, Edwidge Danticat, Alice Walker, and Charles Johnson. An appealing anthology, with an array of voices that should please anyone interested in black literature-or literature period.
Charles Henry Rowell is the editor and founder of Callaloo and a professor of English at Texas A&M University (College Station). His poems, interviews, and scholarly articles have appeared in a variety of periodicals, including The Southern Review and Agni. He is the editor of Ancestral House: The Black Short Story in the Americas and Europe (1995) and coeditor (with Bruce Morrow) of Shade: An Anthology of Fiction by Gay Men of African Descent (1996). He lives in Bryan, Texas.
Foreword by Percival Everett
Introduction by Charles Rowell
Almanzar, Jose Alcantara — "My Singular Irene"
Butler, Octavia — "The Evening and the Morning and the Night"
Condé, Maryse — "The Breadnut and the Breadfruit"
Danticat, Edwidge — from The Journals of the Water Days 1986
Delaney, Samuel R. — from Shoat Rumblin'
Ellison, Ralph — "Cadillac Flambé"
Everett, Percival — "Meiosis"
Forrest, Leon — "Sugar Groove"
Glave, Thomas — "Whose Song?"
Harris, Wilson — from Jonestown
Johnson, Charles — "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
Jones, Gayl — from The Machete Woman
Kenan, Randall — "Now Why Come That Is"
Lee, Helen Elaine — "Silences"
Mackey, Nathaniel — "Atet A. D."
McCluskey, Jr., John — from The River People
McMillan, Terry — "Ma Dear"
Phillips, Caryl — from Cambridge
Wideman, John Edgar — "Ascent by Balloon from the Yard of Chestnut Street Jail"
Ai — "Blue Suede Shoes"
Alexander, Elizabeth — "The Venus Hottentot"
Barrax, Gerald W. — "All My Live Ones" & "An Audience of One"
Braithwaite, Kamau Edward — from "Clips"
Cassells, Cyrus — "Sally Hemmings to Thomas Jefferson"
Césaire, Aimé — "The Automatic Crystal," "Your Portrait," & "Wifredo Lam. . ."
Clifton, Lucille — "The Times" & "Lazarus"
Derricotte, Toi — "The Promise" & "Holy Cross Hospital"
Dixon, Melvin — "Heartbeats" & "Climbing Montmartre"
Dove, Rita — "Straw Hat," "Motherhood," "Headdress," & "Heroes"
Edwards, Brent Hayes — "Middle Ear Recitation"
Ellis, Thomas Sayers — "Fatal April" & "Kiss in the Dark"
Etienne, Phebus — "A Ride to the Wedding" & "Shoes"
Hamer, Forrest — "Goldsboro Narratives"
Harper, Michael S. — "Modulations on a Theme: For Josephus Long"
Harris, Claire — "Mysteries" & "Framed"
Jackson, Angela — "The Love of Travelers"
Jackson, Major — "Some Kind of Crazy" & "Don Pullen at the Zanzibar"
Jackson, Reuben — "Frank"
Komunyakaa, Yusef — "Venus Flytraps," "Red Pagoda," "Birds on a Powerline," & "Slam, Dunk & Hook"
Lorde, Audre — "Fishing in White Water" & "Jesehelms"
Major, Clarence — "Difficulty of Perspective" & "Unwanted Memory"
Mitchell, Karen — "Country After Country" & "Forgiveness"
Morejon, Nancy — "Richard Brought His Flute"
Moss, Thylias — "Holding" and "One for Newborns"
Mullen, Harryette — "Unspoken" & "Fable"
Osbey, Brenda Marie — "Setting Loose the Icons"
Pereira, Edimilson de Almeida — "Calunga Lungara"
Phillips, Carl — "Moving Target" & "The Clearing"
Roberson, Ed — "Elegy for a White Cock"
Roy, Lucinda H. — "Book Review"
Sanchez, Sonia — "A Poem for My Father" & "Sequences"
Strange, Sharan — "Childhood" & "Offering"
Trethewey, Natasha — "Letter Home" & "Vignette"
Walker, Alice — "On Stripping Bark from Myself"
Welburn, Ron — "Yellow Wolf Spirit" & "A Moon Accountability"
Wright, Jay — "Naming the Asturian Bird" & "The Economy of Power"
Young, Kevin — "The Escape Artist" & "Cassius Clay by Basquiat"