NeoSlave Narratives is a study in the political, social, and cultural content of a given literary form--the novel of slavery cast as a first-person slave narrative. After discerning the social and historical factors surrounding the first appearance of that literary form in the 1960s, NeoSlave Narratives explores the complex relationship between nostalgia and critique, while asking how African American intellectuals at different points between 1976 and 1990 remember and use the site of slavery to represent the crucial cultural debates that arose during the sixties.
Rushdy's interpretation is noteworthy for the additional lines of inquiry it suggests, primarily how the neo-slave narrative might be considered in relation to other literary forms of the 1970's and 1980's...--The New England Quarterly
"Recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty."--Choice
"Rushdy's book tells us a great deal not just about the four novels he reads closely, but also about American conceptions of slavery and race in the second half og the twentieth century; we walk away from Neo-slave Narratives with a multilayered sense of what Rushdy calls the 'social logic' of the form, a logic which demonstrates that 'form is not extrinsic to historical understanding but rather constructive of it.'In short, Rushdy approaches his texts
as complex objects circulating in many intersecting exchanges and listens carefully for the whistling and humming around him." Theory and Cultural Studies
"An informative, insightful book, exemplary in its eclectic combination of approaches, including close reading and formal analysis, historical and biographical reportage, philosophical enlightenment, and cultural and sociopolitical critique." Contemporary Literature