BN.com Gift Guide

Walls: Essays, 1985-1990

Overview

Walls: Essays, 1985-1990, Kenneth McClane's first book of autobiographical essays (originally published in 1991), is closely related to his second collection, Color, published by the University of Notre Dame Press in 2009. Walls is a powerful and deeply moving meditation on relationships. It begins with an essay on the death of McClane's brother, Paul, which "changed everything. Time, my work, everything found a new calculus."

His brother's life and death are present in some way...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (5) from $4.02   
  • New (2) from $13.21   
  • Used (3) from $4.02   
Sending request ...

Overview

Walls: Essays, 1985-1990, Kenneth McClane's first book of autobiographical essays (originally published in 1991), is closely related to his second collection, Color, published by the University of Notre Dame Press in 2009. Walls is a powerful and deeply moving meditation on relationships. It begins with an essay on the death of McClane's brother, Paul, which "changed everything. Time, my work, everything found a new calculus."

His brother's life and death are present in some way in all the essays that follow "A Death in the Family," as McClane tells us about giving a poetry reading in a maximum-security prison; his experience of being one of the first two African American students to attend America's oldest private school; teaching creative writing; his sister, Adrienne; a divestment protest at Cornell; and his encounters with James Baldwin. McClane has written a new preface to this paperback edition of Walls.

"Walls reminds us of the differences that set us apart, dividing our world into good kids and troublemakers, winners and losers, the beautiful and the damned. The anodyne for exile in these essays is McClane's common but by no means commonplace lexicon, at once evocative and spare, that leads us to painful but honest connection and the luminous possibility of empathy." —William L. Andrews, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Kenneth McClane's Walls is a collection of exquisitely crafted autobiographical essays that rivals the most profound nonfictional writings of James Baldwin in its skillful investigation of the hidden recesses of the always-throbbing black American soul. Indeed, Walls is a beautifully calibrated exploration of the challenges faced by a courageously self-aware—and refreshingly self-revealing—black intellectual whose journey to and in the American mainstream is both menacing and exhilarating." —Michael Awkward, University of Michigan

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this absorbing collection of essays originally published in 1991, Cornell literature professor McClane muses deeply on issues of identity, race, family, and academia. The Harlem-born son of a doctor and a painter, McClane was the second African-American student ever to attend Manhattan's prestigious Collegiate School. The collection's title resonates with his essay about reading poetry at a prison: "As any jailer knows, the walls of the present are always dismantled in the future; but if there is no future... then the present becomes the almighty, and the walls become unconquerable." Walls is a heady volume; McClane is foremost a poet, and his essays carry the reverberant weight of poetry, demanding a careful read. Moreover, he peppers his prose with esoteric references to James Baldwin, Chekhov, Kafka, and others, lending these essays an academic air. He claims that the loss of his brother to alcoholism pervades each tale, yet the pieces on his mentally-disabled sister or his difficult time at Collegiate carry equal emotional weight.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780268035204
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2010
  • Series: ND Afro/Amer Intellectual Heritage
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth A. McClane is the W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of Literature at Cornell University. He is the author of Color: Essays on Race, Family, and History (University of Notre Dame Press, 2009), and seven poetry collections.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)