African American Women Writers' Historical Fiction by Ana Nunes

By Ana Nunes

This quantity explores African American old fiction written by means of ladies within the final 4 many years of the 20th century. finished in scope, this ebook refers to over thirty authors whose work has contributed to the culture, from Margaret Walker to Sherley Anne Williams to Toni Morrison. Ana Nunes’s approach to the text emphasizes the narrative and thematic achievements of person novels against the backdrop of the most developments and advancements of the modern African American historic novel.

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20 This notion of humanism was not fixed but dynamic. ”21 Walker’s humanistic tradition sought inclusiveness as it emphasized human dignity above all else. Importantly, in her poetry and her fiction, black people lead the way to this new social order. This is a tradition that Walker inherited from generations of African American writers preceding her own. African American literature written before and after the Civil War reflects a preoccupation not only with the suffering and discrimination of the people of African descent but also with the direction of American society as a whole.

However, the publication of Toomer’s Cane in 1923 marked, as Friederike Hajek points out, “both a recognition of the richness of black southern oral heritage and its apparent dissolution. ”46 What was surprising, however, was the manner in which Wright failed to acknowledge Hurston’s use of folklore. indd 33 3/10/11 8:38 AM 34 AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN WRITERS’ HISTORICAL FICTION work Hurston recreated the vernacular to give voice to the silenced female. Wright’s concept of folklore, as H. Nigel Thomas observed, “embodies the black man’s hopes and struggle for freedom as the central focus for the creative black artist.

However, writers like Harper and Hopkins, although concerned with retrieving African American history from oblivion, were confined by the corset of the conventions of the time and too preoccupied with the creation of a black middle-class role model for, and leader of, the masses to present a black heroine who could be considered representative. indd 31 3/10/11 8:38 AM 32 AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN WRITERS’ HISTORICAL FICTION very often light enough to pass for white. 38 Walker’s interest in history sprang from stories.

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