New Essays on Native Son

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Overview

New Essays on Native Son provides original insights into this major American novel by Richard Wright. After an introductory essay by the editor on the conception, composition, and reception of the novel, four leading Afro-Americanists examine various aspects of this classic fictional account of violent life and death in a racist society. John M. Reilly shows how carefully Wright utilises narrative techniques to subvert conventional American racial discourse and to establish the authority and authenticity of the protagonist's voice. Trudier Harris explores some of the social ironies involved in the novel's unfavourable presentation of female characters. Houston A. Baker Jr, focuses precisely on the concept of place in a new historicists treatment of black male and female roles in Native Son against Wright's own interpretation of Afro-American history in 12 Million Black Voices. Finally, Craig Werner convincingly relates Native Son to modernism as a literary movement. Moving beyond the old debate between protest and art, these essays, informed by new critical theory and perspectives, reveal previously unsuspected depth, complexity, and resonance in Wright's vision of black life and his literary resources in expressing it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This fine collection is a fitting tribute to the enduring relevance of Wright's novel." Afram Newsletter

"The five prominent African Americanists represented here move well beyond the worn-out arguments over art versus propoganda to examine neglected dimensions of Wright's vision and artistry...These rich essays extend the terrain of Wright scholarship and are indispensable for anyone working in the field. Highly recommended for collections of American and African American literature." Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521348225
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1990
  • Series: American Novel Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Giving bigger a voice: the politics of narrative in Native Son; 3. Native sons and foreign daughters; 4. Richard Wright and the Dynamics of Place in Afro-American Literature; 5. Bigger's Blues: Native Son and the articulation of Afro-American modernisation; Notes on contributors; Selected bibliography.

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