Description : '...And then we heard the rain falling, and that was the drops of blood falling; and when we came to get the crops, it was dead men that we reaped.' Harriet TubmanIn five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five men in her life, to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth--and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own. Jesmyn grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi. She writes powerfully about the pressures this brings, on the men who can do no right and the women who stand in for family in a society where the men are often absent. She bravely tells her story, revisiting the agonizing losses of her only brother and her friends. As the sole member of her family to leave home and pursue high education, she writes about this parallel American universe with the objectivity distance provides and the intimacy of utter familiarity.
Description : The Encyclopedia of Women in World History captures the experiences of women throughout world history in a comprehensive, 4-volume work. Although there has been extensive research on women in history by region, no text or reference work has comprehensively covered the role women have played throughout world history.The past thirty years have seen an explosion of research and effort to present the experiences and contributions of women not only in the Western world but across the globe. Historians have investigated womens daily lives in virtually every region and have researched the leadership roles women have filled across time and region. They have found and demonstrated that there is virtually no historical, social, or demographic change in which women have not been involved and by which their lives have not been affected. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History benefits greatly from these efforts and experiences, and illuminates how women worldwide have influenced and been influenced by these historical, social, and demographic changes.The Encyclopedia contains over 1,250 signed articles arranged in an A-Z format for ease of use. The entries cover six main areas: biographies; geography and history; comparative culture and society, including adoption, abortion, performing arts; organizations and movements, such as the Egyptian Uprising, and the Paris Commune; womens and gender studies; and topics in world history that include slave trade, globalization, and disease. With its rich and insightful entries by leading scholars and experts, this reference work is sure to be a valued, go-to resource for scholars, college and high school students, and general readers alike.
Description : Neoliberalism has been a buzzword in literary studies for well over a decade, but its meaning remains ambiguous and its salience contentious. In Neoliberalism and Contemporary Literary Culture, Mitchum Huehls and Rachel Greenwald Smith offer a wide-ranging exploration of contemporary literature through the lens of neoliberalism’s economic, social, and cultural ascendance. Bringing together accessible and provocative essays from top literary scholars, this innovative collection examines neoliberalism’s influence on literary theory and methodology, literary form, literary representation, and literary institutions. A four-phase approach to the historical emergence of neoliberalism from the early 1970s to the present helps to clarify the complexity of the relationship between neoliberalism and literary culture. Layering that history over the diverse changes in a US-Anglo literary field that has moved away from postmodern forms and sensibilities, the book argues that many literary developments—including the return to realism, the rise of the memoir, the embrace of New Materialist theory, and the pursuit of aesthetic autonomy—make more coherent sense when viewed in light of neoliberalism’s ever-increasing expansion into the cultural sphere. The essays gathered here engage a diverse range of theorists, including Michel Foucault, Wendy Brown, Giorgio Agamben, Bruno Latour, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Gary Becker, and Eve Sedgwick to address the reciprocal relationship between neoliberalism and conceptual fields such as biopolitics, affect, phenomenology, ecology, and new materialist ontology. These theoretical perspectives are complemented by innovative readings of contemporary works of literature by writers such as Jennifer Egan, Ben Lerner, Gillian Flynn, Teju Cole, Jonathan Franzen, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Salvador Plascencia, E. L. James, Lisa Robertson, Kenneth Goldsmith, and many others. Neoliberalism and Contemporary Literary Culture is essential reading for anyone invested in the ever-changing state of literary culture.
Description : The twelfth volume of The Collected Works of Langston Hughes contains Hughes's collections of biographies for children and young adults— Famous American Negroes, Famous Negro Music Makers, and Famous Negro Heroes of America —gathered together for the first time. In these works, Hughes sought to remedy decades of historical and cultural neglect by telling the stories of African Americans who had made vital contributions to the construction of the American identity. Hughes made clear his commitment to an inclusive and diverse accounting of the achievements of African Americans on American soil, from vernacular expression to high culture, oratory to combat, geographical exploration to intellectual introspection. His lively and dramatic portraits of African Americans such as Crispus Attucks, Frederick Douglass, Jackie Robinson, and Mahalia Jackson, battling against exclusivity and adversity to achieve their full potential, present a captivating portrait of America. This volume is a valuable record of the emerging African American struggle for civil rights and positive self- determination. It also documents Hughes's interests as he entered the fifth decade of his life and can be read fruitfully alongside his writings for adults at the time, reflecting his sociocultural and political thought.
Description : Winner Whiting Writers' Award Winner Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction Finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize Finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Mitchell S. Jackson grew up black in a neglected neighborhood in America's whitest city, Portland, Oregon. In the '90s, those streets and beyond had fallen under the shadow of crack cocaine and its familiar mayhem. In his commanding autobiographical novel, Mitchell writes what it was to come of age in that time and place, with a break-out voice that's nothing less than extraordinary. The Residue Years switches between the perspectives of a young man, Champ, and his mother, Grace. Grace is just out of a drug treatment program, trying to stay clean and get her kids back. Champ is trying to do right by his mom and younger brothers, and dreams of reclaiming the only home he and his family have ever shared. But selling crack is the only sure way he knows to achieve his dream. In this world of few options and little opportunity, where love is your strength and your weakness, this family fights for family and against what tears one apart. Honest in its portrayal, with cadences that dazzle, The Residue Years signals the arrival of a writer set to awe.