A Short History of African American Literature
Nandana Dutta
Price
490
ISBN
9789354424335
Language
English
Pages
320
Format
Paperback
Dimensions
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
2024
Territorial Rights
World
Imprint
Orient BlackSwan

This volume is a concise history of African American literature, a multifaceted body of writing engaging with slavery, racism and the idea of racial difference. Foregrounding the contemporary trend of understanding literature against its socio-historical background, this volume tracks the evolution of African American literature from the arrival of the first slaving ships in North America across the Atlantic in the seventeenth century. It highlights the unique influences of oral culture, music and performance, among a people long denied education. The volume links the various genres of writing to the brutal experience of slavery and the collective memory of trauma, even as it celebrates the humour and irony that shaped black identity.

The book includes detailed timelines in each chapter that anchor the writings in specific historical contexts, and extensive discussions of writers and poets in each period that underline the trajectory of African American literature.

This accessible Short History not only introduces readers to African American literature but also offers myriad tools for further study and engagement with this writing.

Nandana Dutta teaches at the Department of English, Gauhati University. Her publications include American Literature (Orient BlackSwan).

Map of the United States of America
Acknowledgements
Introduction

1. Sustaining Culture
The Oral Tradition

2. Struggling for Literacy and Literate Identities
Slavery and Freedom: 1619–1865

3. Up from Slavery
Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance: 1865–1919

4. Cultural Awakening
The New Negro or Harlem Renaissance: 1919–40

5. Modernism
1940–65

6. Pride and Anger
The Black Arts Era: 1965–75

7. New Directions
The Contemporary Period: 1975 to the Present

8. Conclusion
Index

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