By the author of A Lesson Before Dying and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Catherine Carmier is a compelling love story set in a deceptively bucolic Louisiana countryside, where blacks, Cajuns, and whites maintain an uneasy coexistence. After living in San Francisco for ten years, Jackson returns home to his benefactor, Aunt Charlotte. Surrounded by family and old friends, he discovers that his bonds to them have been irreparably rent by his absence. In the midst of his alienation from those around him, he falls in love with Catherine Carmier, setting the stage for conflicts and confrontations which are complex, tortuous, and universal in their implications.
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An appreciation of the significance of the porch in everyday life in the US South. It reveals that the porch is a stage for many social dramas, and it uses literature, folklore, oral histories and photographs to show how southerners have used the porch to negotiate public and private boundaries.
To what extent has the demand for a vicarious experience of other cultures fuelled the expectation that the most important task for writers is to capture and convey authentic cultural material? This text argues that authenticity is in fact a restrictive category of literary judgment.
Library Journal writes: "Civil rights advances in the last 25 years have included an awareness that the traditional canon of American literature excluded important minority authors. This study is a strong addition to the growing body of scholarly analysis examining the Afro-American contribution. Proceeding chronologically from William Wells Brown's Clotel (1853) to experimental novels of the 1980s, Bell comments on more than 150 works, with close readings of 41 novelists. His remarks are framed by an inquiry into the distinctive elements of Afro-American fiction. Bell's conclusions may provoke varied discussion, for the book is broadly accessible and will appeal to general readers and undergraduates as well as to literary scholars. Recommended."
"Mary Ellen Doyle gathers and makes audible the voices arising from all of Ernest J. Gaines's fiction to date - the indelible characters who inhabit the author's lifelong inspirational territory: the bayous, cane fields, and plantation homes of Louisiana's Pointe Coupee Parish. Beginning with the author's upbringing and influences on River Lake Plantation - amid the pecan trees and live oaks, the big house and the tenant quarters - this penetrating study offers close readings of Gaines's uncollected short fiction, the early collection Bloodline, and all of his novels, including The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and the acclaimed A Lesson Before Dying."--The publisher.
Offering a comprehensive view of the South's literary landscape, past and present, this volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture celebrates the region's ever-flourishing literary culture and recognizes the ongoing evolution of the southern literary canon. As new writers draw upon and reshape previous traditions, southern literature has broadened and deepened its connections not just to the American literary mainstream but also to world literatures--a development thoughtfully explored in the essays here. Greatly expanding the content of the literature section in the original Encyclopedia, this volume includes 31 thematic essays addressing major genres of literature; theoretical categories, such as regionalism, the southern gothic, and agrarianism; and themes in southern writing, such as food, religion, and sexuality. Most striking is the fivefold increase in the number of biographical entries, which introduce southern novelists, playwrights, poets, and critics. Special attention is given to contemporary writers and other individuals who have not been widely covered in previous scholarship.
African-American authors have consistently explored the political dimensions of literature and its ability to affect social change. African-American literature has also provided an essential framework for shaping cultural identity and solidarity. From the early slave narratives to the folklore and dialect verse of the Harlem Renaissance to the modern novels of today
This volume is a collection of essays on black short stories written between 1998 and 1976. It aims to say something about the black short story as a genre and the development of the racial situation in America as well. The primary aim is to introduce the reader to this long neglected genre of black fiction. In contrast to the black novel, the short story has hardly been given extensive criticism, let alone serious attention. The individual essays of this collection aim at presenting new points of critical orientation in the hope of reviving and fostering further discussions. They provide a variety of approaches, and a great diversity of critical points of view.
Drawing on critical frameworks, this study establishes the centrality of language, gender, and community in the quest for identity in contemporary American fiction. Close readings of novels by Alice Walker, Ernest Gaines, Ann Beattie, John Updike, Chang-rae Lee, and Rudolfo Anaya, among others, show how individuals find their American identities.