Description : "It is the fate of South African literature to be political. For better or worse, South African writers, some of whom have now acquired international reputations, have been held hostage to apartheid, which has imposed its own brutal and limiting categories even on those who oppose it. Nevertheless, as Black/White Writing: Essays on South African Literature demonstrates, writers of talent have found extraordinarily diverse and creative ways of dealing with the constraints of their historical condition." "In the opening essay Nadine Gordimer attempts to answer the question "For whom do you write?" As a politically committed writer, Gordimer would no doubt like to be read by the oppressed people whose cause she has always championed, but she is forced to recognize that South African realities render illusory the cherished concept of the universality of literature." "Gordimer's novels are discussed in three of the articles that follow. Nancy Bazin shows how, in dealing with the theme of interracial sex, Gordimer has become increasingly aware of the silent and largely ignored black woman who forms the third point of the love triangle. Pauline Fletcher argues that behind the political stance of Gordimer's novels lies a distrust of the abstractions of even the most enlightened politics; her subtext celebrates the truth of the body. Nicholas Visser places Gordimer's July's People in its historical context and compares it with other novels of future projection by Karel Schoeman and J. M. Coetzee." "Visser's overtly political and historicist study is contrasted by Sarah Heider's essay on Coetzee's Life and Times of Michael K. It is perhaps fitting that Coetzee, who has expressed distaste for the fate of being a South African writer, should receive attention from a critic who, while ignoring the historical context of the novel, demonstrates K's rejection of all attempts to convert his story into the accepted currencies of the social system." "Many black women writers from South Africa have also attempted to resist the political imperatives imposed upon writers by apartheid. Their work has in consequence often been called apolitical, and it is only recently that it has been given the consideration it deserves. Elizabeth Taylor examines the often problematical relationship between tradition and the black writer in her discussion of the ways in which black women have had to negotiate between their desire to preserve cultural continuity and their need to resist much in their inherited culture that is oppressive for women. For writers of mixed race the relation to tradition is even more problematical, perhaps accounting for the fact that both Bessie Head and Zoe Wicomb went into voluntary exile. Their work does not fall into the category of anti-apartheid writing, but (as Carol Sicherman and Isabella Matsikidze show) it does have a political dimension and it points in the direction that fiction might take in a post-apartheid South Africa." "The volume closes with an essay by Gerald Monsman that takes the reader back to an earlier South Africa, examining Olive Schreiner's writing in the broader context of other stories from an imperialist past." "Two poems by Dennis Brutus open the volume. They speak eloquently of human suffering and the desire for peace."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Description : During the final years of the apartheid era and the subsequent transition to democracy, South African literary writing caught the world's attention as never before. Writers responded to the changing political situation and its daily impact on the country's inhabitants with works that recorded or satirised state-enforced racism, explored the possibilities of resistance and rebuilding, and creatively addressed the vexed question of literature's relation to politics and ethics. Writing South Africa offers a window on the literary activity of this extraordinary period that conveys its range (going well beyond a handful of world-renowned names) and its significance for anyone interested in the impact of decolonisation and democratisation on the cultural sphere. It brings together for the first time discussions by some of the most distinguished South African novelists, poets, and dramatists, with those of leading commentators based in South Africa, Britain and North America.
Description : In this thought-provoking volume, David R. Roediger has brought together some of the most important black writers throughout history to explore the question: What does it really mean to be white in America? From folktales and slave narratives to contemporary essays, poetry, and fiction, black writers have long been among America's keenest students of white consciousness and white behavior, but until now much of this writing has been ignored. Black on White reverses this trend by presenting the work of more than fifty major figures, including James Baldwin, Derrick Bell, Ralph Ellison, W.E.B. Du Bois, bell hooks, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker to take a closer look at the many meanings of whiteness in our society. Rich in irony, artistry, passion, and common sense, these reflections on what Langston Hughes called "the ways of white folks" illustrate how whiteness as a racial identity derives its meaning not as a biological category but as a social construct designed to uphold racial inequality. Powerful and compelling, Black on White provides a much-needed perspective that is sure to have a major impact on the study of race and race relations in America. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Description : "This brilliant and timely collection takes us far in documenting the complex intrapsychic worlds and intersubjective relations of race, gender, and culture. Questions concerning how race and ethnicity create and refract unconscious fantasy and self-construction must be at the forefront of contemporary psychoanalytic thinking."--Nancy J. Chodorow, author of The Reproduction of Mothering "Bold. Daring. Provocative. This collection of essays emphatically demonstrates that rhetorical meaning, constituted in the text and the world, evolves from mediations of the psychical and the material, the personal and the social. The critical models displayed so forcefully here will not only influence psychoanalytic and feminist discourses but literary and cultural studies as well."--Claudia Tate, George Washington University
Description : Ranging from 1861 to the present day, an anthology of works by many of Chicago's leading black writers includes poetry, fiction, drama, essays, journalism, and historical and social commentary, by W. E. B. Du Bois, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, Ida B. Wells, Richard Wright, Charles Johnson, and many others. Simultaneous.
Description : By restoring interracial dimensions left out of accounts of the Harlem Renaissance--or blamed for corrupting it--George Hutchinson transforms our understanding of black (and white) literary modernism, interracial literary relations, and twentieth-century cultural nationalism in the United States.
Description : The poems of Into These Knots, Ashley Anna McHugh's debut collection, glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven, interrogating and elucidating in elegant and supercharged speech ultimate questions and intimate foibles. With equal parts intelligence and passion, Ms. McHugh can quarrel with scripture or riff on the amorous pleadings of Andrew Marvell or the stark musings of Baudelaire. In "Cairns," a brilliant sequence that plays with the boundaries of the sonnet, mountain hikes in rural West Virginia trace, among other things, the difficult pathways to the divine.
Description : Argues that conventional analyses have failed to recognize the significance of ethnicity, as opposed to race, in understanding Black history in America.
Description : Harlem in the 1920s and '30s was the epicenter of a flourishing in African-American literature with the poetry and prose of Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Claude McKay, to name a few. This volume examines the defining themes and styles of African-American literature during this period, which laid the groundwork for contemporary African-American writers.