Beginning with the sermons, orations, and writing of nineteenth-century men and women like Frederick Douglass who laid the foundation for the African American essay, Wall examines the genre's evolution through the Harlem Renaissance. She then turns her attention to four writers she regards as among the most influential essayists of the twentieth century: Baldwin, Ellison, June Jordan, and Alice Walker. She closes the book with a discussion of the status of the essay in the twenty-first century as it shifts its medium from print to digital in the hands of writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brittney Cooper. Wall's beautifully written and insightful book is nothing less than a redefinition of how we understand the genres of African American literature.
|Publisher:||The University of North Carolina Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||643 KB|
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A pathbreaking work of scholarship, invigorating interest in the essay as a portal to some of the most pressing issues of race, culture, and politics across history, including our present time.--Gene Andrew Jarrett, New York University
Beautifully written and compellingly argued, this welcome and necessary book rescues the genre of the essay from the margins of our discussions about African American intellectual and cultural production.--Farah J. Griffin, Columbia University