African American women writers published extensively during the Harlem Renaissance and have been extraordinarily prolific since the 1970s. This book surveys the world of African American women writers. Included are alphabetically arranged entries on more than 150 novelists, poets, playwrights, short fiction writers, autobiographers, essayists, and influential scholars. The Encyclopedia covers established contemporary authors such as Toni Morrison and Gloria Naylor, along with a range of neglected and emerging figures. Each entry is written by an expert contributor and provides a brief biography, a discussion of major works, a survey of the author's critical reception, and primary and secondary bibliographies. Literature students will value this book for its exploration of African American literature, while social studies students will appreciate its examination of social issues through literature. African American women writers have made an enormous contribution to our culture.
Many of these authors wrote during the Harlem Renaissance, a particularly vital time in African American arts and letters, while others have been especially active since the 1970s, an era in which works by African American women are adapted into films and are widely read in book clubs. Literature by African American women is important for its aesthetic qualities, and it also illuminates the social issues which these authors have confronted. This book conveniently surveys the lives and works of African American women writers. Included are alphabetically arranged entries on more than 150 African American women novelists, poets, playwrights, short fiction writers, autobiographers, essayists, and influential scholars. Some of these figures, such as Toni Morrison and Gloria Naylor, are among the most popular authors writing today, while others have been largely neglected or are recently emerging. Each entry provides a biography, a discussion of major works, a survey of the writer's critical reception, and primary and secondary bibliographies. The Encyclopedia closes with a selected, general bibliography.
Students and general readers will welcome this guide to the rich achievement of African American women. Literature students will value its exploration of the works of these writers, while social studies students will appreciate its examination of the social issues these women confront in their works.
"Such a pivotal examination of a wide-raning list of African-American women writers is not lost on a more popular audience. Easy to navigate and written in layman's terms, each biographical entry is organized into five distinct sections: headnotes, biographical narrative, list of major works, critical reception, and a selected bibliography for further study... Suitable for high school students, college and university undergraduate and graduate students, and literary researchers, the two-volume work merits inclusion in both libraries and personal collections" - MultiCultural Review "Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers has entries on 168 African American (and some Caribbean) female authors who published works from 1746 to 2006. The coverage of literary genres is broad and makes this an important contribution to the field...The intended audience includes advanced high-school through undergraduate students as well as graduate students and researchers in the preliminary research stages. Many of the authors are well known (for example, Maya Angelou), while others are obscure writers (for example, Susie King Taylor) who the editor believes should be brought to the attention of students and scholars. A table of contents and two lists of authors, the first organized by genre and the second by date, precede the alphabetic entries. Each entry includes sections for Biographical Narrative, Major Works, Critical Reception, and Bibliography (subdivided into Works and Studies of Works)...[h]ighly recommended for public, high-school, and academic libraries." - Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin "Each A-to-Z entry, which spans 750 to 5000 words, profiles the writer, discusses major works, surveys critical reception, and includes a bibliography consisting of a list of the authors works and a list of studies of those works. The writers featured range from the established and popular to the overlooked or newly emerging and include Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Michelle Cliff, Edwidge Danticat, and Jamaica Kincaid. Appendixes contain a list of major literary awards, alphabetical and chronological lists of authors, and, at the works close, a selected general bibliography and an index. They also catalog authors according to their genrese.g., autobiography, drama, essay, fiction, poetry, cultural/literary theory, and children/YA. Other works treating this same subject are of a lesser status than Pages title, impressive for its critical and scholarly representation of a growing and important group. Fit for public, community college, and university libraries" - Library Journal "Useful and certain to excite interest, this reference contains entries on 168 writers of African-American descent writing in all forms, including autobiography, poetry, children's literature, and criticism. The entries, which are written to be accessible to the advanced high school student and higher, give a biography of the writer, describe the major works and their reception. Each entry concludes with an exhaustive bibliography of the writer's works and secondary sources. An appendix provides a full list of literary awards and their recipients, as well as a bibliography of further sources." - Reference & Research Book News "This wide-ranging set provides both biographical and critical information in an accessible set. Covering the 18th through 21st centuries, it includes novelists, playwrights, poets, essayists, and authors of children's works. Each entry is individually penned and has a section on the life of the writer, her major works, critical responses to them, and a bibliography of both primary and secondary sources...[a] welcome addition for students and others interested in this gifted group." - School Library Journal "Greenwood's new 2-volume set covers over 150 African American women novelists, poets, essayists, dramatists, and literary critics in over 1,000 pages of text. Entries are in alphabetical order, and range from just a few pages for lesser-known writers to ten pages or so for more well-known personages such as Alice Walker or Toni Morrison. Each author entry contains subsections titled Biographical Narrative, Major Works, Critical Reception, and Bibliography (which in turn offers Works by and Studies of listings)...[t]his is a very good resource for users at many levels--straightforward enough to be used by undergraduates and even high school students, but detailed and deep enough to be useful to graduate and faculty researchers as well. Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers." - Choice "To the busy scholar in literature today all encyclopedias are helpful in providing doorways to authors of all kinds. This one, however, is especially welcome because though it is not the first on the subject it is the fullest...The two volumes are a necessity on the shelves of all people interested in literature or black culture." - Journal of American Cultures "The range of authors represented in this encyclopedia is what ensures this work stands out, making it a significant contribution to the literature about African American writers. Aimed at advanced school level upward it would be a useful addition to school and public libraries." - Reference Reviews