Close Kin and Distant Relatives: The Paradox of Respectability in Black Women's Literature (American Literatures Initiative)

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9780813935508: Close Kin and Distant Relatives: The Paradox of Respectability in Black Women's Literature (American Literatures Initiative)

The "black family" in the United States and the Caribbean often holds contradictory and competing meanings in public discourse: on the one hand, it is a site of love, strength, and support; on the other hand, it is a site of pathology, brokenness, and dysfunction that has frequently called forth an emphasis on conventional respectability if stability and social approval are to be achieved. Looking at the ways in which contemporary African American and black Caribbean women writers conceptualize the black family, Susana Morris finds a discernible tradition that challenges the politics of respectability by arguing that it obfuscates the problematic nature of conventional understandings of family and has damaging effects as a survival strategy for blacks.

The author draws on African American studies, black feminist theory, cultural studies, and women’s studies to examine the work of Paule Marshall, Jamaica Kincaid, Edwidge Danticat, and Sapphire, showing how their novels engage the connection between respectability and ambivalence. These writers advocate instead for a transgressive understanding of affinity and propose an ethic of community support and accountability that calls for mutual affection, affirmation, loyalty, and respect. At the core of these transgressive family systems, Morris reveals, is a connection to African diasporic cultural rites such as dance, storytelling, and music that help the fictional characters to establish familial connections.

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About the Author:

Susana M. Morris is Associate Professor of English at Auburn University.

Review:

Timely and useful, this book amplifies the voices of black women novelists who have taken bold and counterhegemonic positions on the ‘plight’ of the contemporary black family. It takes up important issues in black women’s literature of the late twentieth century and puts these issues together in a fresh and productive way.

(E. Frances White, New York University, author of Dark Continent of Our Bodies: Black Feminism and the Politics of Respectability)

Close Kin and Distant Relatives deserves a place on the shelf of any scholar or enthusiast of Black women's literature. Morris's writing is accessible to the non-specialist, and yet her insight will be illuminating to the seasoned veteran in the field.

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Book Description University of Virginia Press, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The black family in the United States and the Caribbean often holds contradictory and competing meanings in public discourse: on the one hand it is a site of love strength and support; on the other hand it is a site of pathology brokenness and dysfunction that has frequently called forth an emphasis on conventional respectability if stability and social approval are to be achieved. Looking at the ways in which contemporary African American and black Caribbean women writers conceptualize the black family Susana Morris finds a discernible tradition that challenges the politics of respectability by arguing that it obfuscates the problematic nature of conventional understandings of family and has damaging effects as a survival strategy for blacks.The author draws on African American studies black feminist theory cultural studies and womena s studies to examine the work of Paule Marshall Jamaica Kincaid Edwidge Danticat and Sapphire showing how their novels engage the connection between respectability and ambivalence. These writers advocate instead for a transgressive understanding of affinity and propose an ethic of community support and accountability that calls for mutual affection affirmation loyalty and respect. At the core of these transgressive family systems Morris reveals is a connection to African diasporic cultural rites such as dance storytelling and music that help the fictional characters to establish familial connections. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780813935508

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Book Description University of Virginia Press, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The black family in the United States and the Caribbean often holds contradictory and competing meanings in public discourse: on the one hand it is a site of love strength and support; on the other hand it is a site of pathology brokenness and dysfunction that has frequently called forth an emphasis on conventional respectability if stability and social approval are to be achieved. Looking at the ways in which contemporary African American and black Caribbean women writers conceptualize the black family Susana Morris finds a discernible tradition that challenges the politics of respectability by arguing that it obfuscates the problematic nature of conventional understandings of family and has damaging effects as a survival strategy for blacks.The author draws on African American studies black feminist theory cultural studies and womena s studies to examine the work of Paule Marshall Jamaica Kincaid Edwidge Danticat and Sapphire showing how their novels engage the connection between respectability and ambivalence. These writers advocate instead for a transgressive understanding of affinity and propose an ethic of community support and accountability that calls for mutual affection affirmation loyalty and respect. At the core of these transgressive family systems Morris reveals is a connection to African diasporic cultural rites such as dance storytelling and music that help the fictional characters to establish familial connections. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780813935508

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Book Description University of Virginia Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 192 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 5.9in. x 0.5in.The black family in the United States and the Caribbean often holds contradictory and competing meanings in public discourse: on the one hand, it is a site of love, strength, and support; on the other hand, it is a site of pathology, brokenness, and dysfunction that has frequently called forth an emphasis on conventional respectability if stability and social approval are to be achieved. Looking at the ways in which contemporary African American and black Caribbean women writers conceptualize the black family, Susana Morris finds a discernible tradition that challenges the politics of respectability by arguing that it obfuscates the problematic nature of conventional understandings of family and has damaging effects as a survival strategy for blacks. The author draws on African American studies, black feminist theory, cultural studies, and womens studies to examine the work of Paule Marshall, Jamaica Kincaid, Edwidge Danticat, and Sapphire, showing how their novels engage the connection between respectability and ambivalence. These writers advocate instead for a transgressive understanding of affinity and propose an ethic of community support and accountability that calls for mutual affection, affirmation, loyalty, and respect. At the core of these transgressive family systems, Morris reveals, is a connection to African diasporic cultural rites such as dance, storytelling, and music that help the fictional characters to establish familial connections. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780813935508

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Book Description University of Virginia Press. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Close Kin and Distant Relatives: The Paradox of Respectability in Black Women's Literature, Susana M. Morris, The "black family" in the United States and the Caribbean often holds contradictory and competing meanings in public discourse: on the one hand it is a site of love strength and support; on the other hand it is a site of pathology brokenness and dysfunction that has frequently called forth an emphasis on conventional respectability if stability and social approval are to be achieved. Looking at the ways in which contemporary African American and black Caribbean women writers conceptualize the black family Susana Morris finds a discernible tradition that challenges the politics of respectability by arguing that it obfuscates the problematic nature of conventional understandings of family and has damaging effects as a survival strategy for blacks.The author draws on African American studies black feminist theory cultural studies and womena's studies to examine the work of Paule Marshall Jamaica Kincaid Edwidge Danticat and Sapphire showing how their novels engage the connection between respectability and ambivalence. These writers advocate instead for a transgressive understanding of affinity and propose an ethic of community support and accountability that calls for mutual affection affirmation loyalty and respect. At the core of these transgressive family systems Morris reveals is a connection to African diasporic cultural rites such as dance storytelling and music that help the fictional characters to establish familial connections. Bookseller Inventory # B9780813935508

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