Weinstein investigates the stories blacks and whites, men and women, tell about each other through the work of two quintessential American novelists: William Faulkner and and Toni Morrison. Exploring deep-rooted understandings of race and gender and describing how differently their "Americanness" resonates in both writers' works, What Else But Love?
considers the legacy of slavery in a variety of ways, from the meaning of mammies and mothers to the question of black manhood.
-Weinstein not only excavates the deep layers of race, gender, and identity formation in novels by two of our most significant American fiction writers; he is also limning, with great care, some of the most divisive and explosive cultural issues in this country's history. At bottom his argument is that our greatest writers teach us about ourselves: who we were, who we are, who we might become. -Minrose C. Gwin -University of New Mexico -Through the many brilliant moments of his cross-reading, Weinstein persuades us how unflinchingly the century's two greatest American novelists recall the history of racial slavery-the legacy that founds as it confounds our national experience, and how resourcefully they seek to imagine lives beyond the reach of its fatality. -John Matthews -author of The Play of Faulkner's Language -Phil Weinstein explores the novels of Toni Morrison and William Faulkner as they engage problems having to do with race, gender, and class. He does so, moreover, in language that is accessible and in ways that not only enrich our sense of the achievement of both writers but also subtly remind us that the problems they engage are important not because they are currently fashionable among literary critics but rather because they play vital roles in shaping the lives of writers and readers as well as fictional characters. -David Minter -Rice University -Weinstein focuses on many aspects of race and gender - from black manhood to white maternity - to explore 'the degree of ideological disturbance that a text can summon forth, significantly interrelate, and formally convey.' He effectively pairs the modernist fictions of Faulkner and Morrison to suggest 'the range of human cost and possibilities occasioned by the two races' mutual caughtness, their inextricable interpenetration.' Light in August and Beloved, for example, are the authors' 'most incisive rendering of racial disturbance.' Strongly recommended. -Choice