Women of the Harlem Renaissance

Women of the Harlem Renaissance

by Cheryl A. Wall
     
 

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"Wall’s writing is lively and exuberant. She passes her enthusiasm for these writers’ works on to the reader. She captures the mood of the times and follows through with the writers’ evolution—sometimes to success, other times to isolation.... Women of the Harlem Renaissance is a rare blend of thorough academic research with writing that

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Overview

"Wall’s writing is lively and exuberant. She passes her enthusiasm for these writers’ works on to the reader. She captures the mood of the times and follows through with the writers’ evolution—sometimes to success, other times to isolation.... Women of the Harlem Renaissance is a rare blend of thorough academic research with writing that anyone can appreciate." —Jason Zappe, Copley News Service

"By connecting the women to one another, to the cultural movement in which they worked, and to other early 20th-century women writers, Wall deftly defines their place in American literature. Her biographical and literary analysis surpasses others by following up on diverse careers that often ended far past the end of the movement. Highly recommended... "—Library Journal

"Wall offers a wealth of information and insight on their work, lives and interaction with other writers... strong critiques... " —Publishers Weekly

The lives and works of women artists in the Harlem Renaissance—Jessie Redmon Fauset, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Bessie Smith, and others. Their achievements reflect the struggle of a generation of literary women to depict the lives of Black people, especially Black women, honestly and artfully.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
For her multidimensional study, Wall chooses to use the most expansive definition of the Harlem Renaissance in order to include writers whose work was published during the Depression and women like Ann Spencer, who lived outside of Harlem. But while Wall discusses the significant contributions of Spencer, Marita Bonner and Georgia Douglas Johnson, her focus is firmly on three central figures: Jessie Redmon Fauset, Nella Larsen and Zora Neale Hurston. Wall offers a wealth of information and insight on their work, lives and interaction with other writers. The three women are quite different. The vivacious Fauset (Plum Bun) was a middle-class, well-traveled northerner who, as literary editor of W.E.B. Du Bois's The Crisis from 1919 to 1926, came to know many of the great literary figures of the time. Larsen had a more tumultuous background and never fit in anywhere until her move to Harlem. It was then that she wrote her acclaimed Quicksand and Passing, the novels that made her part of the inner circlebefore she disappeared almost as quickly as she appeared. The most celebrated woman writer of the period, Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God and Mules & Men) was also one of the era's few true daughters of the rural South and spent most of the years of the Harlem Renaissance on the road. Wall offers strong critiques of these women's work, uncovering certain similarities, including, most importantly, the travel motif as not only a reflection of the mass migrations of the day but also a larger dislocation. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Traditional studies of the Harlem Renaissance often neglect women writers. Moving women from the margin to the center, Wall (English, Rutgers Univ.) examines the lives and work of novelists Jessie Redmon Fauset, Zora Neale Hurston, and Nella Larsen and such poets as Georgia Douglas Johnson and Annie Scales Spencer. By connecting the women to one another, to the cultural movement in which they worked, and to other early 20th-century women writers, Wall deftly defines their place in American literature. Her biographical and literary analysis surpasses others by following up on diverse careers that often ended far past the end of the movement. Highly recommended for collections on African Americans, women, and 20th-century America.-Brenda M. Brock, SUNY at Buffalo

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253209801
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
09/01/1995
Series:
Women of Letters Series
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,382,895
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.72(d)

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