The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature

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William L. Andrews, Frances Smith Foster, Trudier Harris
Oxford University Press, Feb 15, 2001 - Literary Criticism - 512 pages
A breathtaking achievement, this Concise Companion is a suitable crown to the astonishing production in African American literature and criticism that has swept over American literary studies in the last two decades. It offers an enormous range of writers-from Sojourner Truth to Frederick Douglass, from Zora Neale Hurston to Ralph Ellison, and from Toni Morrison to August Wilson. It contains entries on major works (including synopses of novels), such as Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Richard Wright's Native Son, and Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. It also incorporates information on literary characters such as Bigger Thomas, Coffin Ed Johnson, Kunta Kinte, Sula Peace, as well as on character types such as Aunt Jemima, Brer Rabbit, John Henry, Stackolee, and the trickster. Icons of black culture are addressed, including vivid details about the lives of Muhammad Ali, John Coltrane, Marcus Garvey, Jackie Robinson, John Brown, and Harriet Tubman. Here, too, are general articles on poetry, fiction, and drama; on autobiography, slave narratives, Sunday School literature, and oratory; as well as on a wide spectrum of related topics. Compact yet thorough, this handy volume gathers works from a vast array of sources--from the black periodical press to women's clubs--making it one of the most substantial guides available on the growing, exciting world of African American literature.
 

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Contents

Appendix
457
Editors
473

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About the author (2001)

William L. Andrews was born in 1946. He earned his B.A. from Davidson College in 1968. He received his M.A. in 1970 and Ph.D. in 1973, respectively, from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he is currently the E. Maynard Adams Professor of English. His first book, The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt, published in 1980, deals with a seminal figure in the development of African American and Southern American prose fiction. While researching To Tell a Free Story, a history of African American autobiography up to 1865, Andrews became greatly interested in autobiography studies. Since 1988 he has been the general editor of a book series, titled Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography, which is published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Since the mid-1980's he has done a considerable amount of editing of African American and southern literature and criticism. The fruition of this work has been The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, published in 1997, The Oxford Companion to African American Literature, also published in 1997, and The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology, three big collaborative projects that Andrews has co-edited. He went on to be the series editor of North American Slave Narratives, Beginnings to 1920, a complete digitized library of autobiographies and biographies of North American slaves and ex-slaves, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ameritech, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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