Race Mixing: Southern Fiction since the Sixties

Race Mixing: Southern Fiction since the Sixties

by Suzanne W. Jones

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Overview

Race Mixing: Southern Fiction since the Sixties by Suzanne W. Jones

In the southern United States, there remains a deep need among both black and white writers to examine the topic of race relations, whether they grew up during segregation or belong to the younger generation that graduated from integrated schools. In Race Mixing, Suzanne Jones offers insightful and provocative readings of contemporary novels, the work of a wide range of writers—black and white, established and emerging. Their stories explore the possibilities of cross-racial friendships, examine the repressed history of interracial love, reimagine the Civil Rights era through children's eyes, herald the reemergence of the racially mixed character, investigate acts of racial violence, and interrogate both rural and urban racial dynamics.

Employing a dynamic model of the relationship between text and context, Jones shows how more than thirty relevant writers—including Madison Smartt Bell, Larry Brown, Bebe Moore Campbell, Thulani Davis, Ellen Douglas, Ernest Gaines, Josephine Humphreys, Randall Kenan, Reynolds Price, Alice Walker, and Tom Wolfe—illuminate the complexities of the color line and the problems in defining racial identity today. While an earlier generation of black and white southern writers challenged the mythic unity of southern communities in order to lay bare racial divisions, Jones finds in the novels of contemporary writers a challenge to the mythic sameness within racial communities—and a broader definition of community and identity.

Closely reading these stories about race in America, Race Mixing ultimately points to new ways of thinking about race relations. "We need these fictions," Jones writes, "to help us imagine our way out of the social structures and mind-sets that mythologize the past, fragment individuals, prejudge people, and divide communities."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801883934
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 01/28/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Suzanne W. Jones is a professor of English at the University of Richmond. She has published many articles about southern literature, and she is the editor of four books: two collections of essays, South to a New Place: Region, Literature, Culture (with Sharon Monteith) and Writing the Woman Artist, and two collections of stories, Crossing the Color Line: Readings in Black and White and Growing Up in the South.

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