Wild Women in the Whirlwind: Afra-American Culture and the Contemporary Literary Renaissance

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9780813514413: Wild Women in the Whirlwind: Afra-American Culture and the Contemporary Literary Renaissance

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From Publishers Weekly:

The cultural and literary achievements of black American women are examined and celebrated in some 20 enjoyable, erudite essays finds in Sojourner Truth an "archetypal personage" who fought battles that are still being waged today. Billie Jean Young recounts her development of a play about sharecropper's wife Fannie Lou Hamer, who in August 1962 joined 17 other blacks to register to vote in Mississippi. Daphne Duval Harrison focuses on Sippie Wallace, the "Texas Nightingale," and her blues career, which peaked in the '20s. Barbara Smith, discussing black lesbians in fiction, analyzes fable-like elements in Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Nellie Y. McKay considers the nature of autobiography in reviewing the works of Zora Neale Hurston and Gwendolyn Brooks. Barbara Omolade calls for "scholar-warrior-women" to write their own history unfettered by Western tradition. Braxton is a professor of English at the College of William and Mary; McLaughlin, a professor of humanities at CUNY. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This book is a quilt of 25 essays by a diverse group of 23 scholars. In the main, the essays are successful because they go beyond ground already broken by works such as Conjuring (Indiana Univ. Pr., 1985) by presenting a cogent examination of an Afra-American aesthetic. The essays cover familiar territory from Harriet Jacobs's slave narrative to the eloquent voices of Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, as well as undervalued works, e.g., Angelina Grimke's play "Rachael." Many of the essays focus on the black female literary tradition as repository of "womanist" cultural, political, and historical imperatives. If diversity is this quilt's strength, it is also its weakest stitch; some essays are less scholarly than those by Angela Davis, Henry L. Gates, or Barbara Smith. But however uneven, these essays do present an abundance of information passionately communicated.
- Veronica Mitchell, New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Andree Nicola McLaughlin, Joanne M. Braxton
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