A breathtaking achievement, this Concise Companion is a suitable crown to the astonishing production in African American literature and criticism that has swept over American literary studies in the last two decades. It offers an enormous range of writers-from Sojourner Truth to Frederick Douglass, from Zora Neale Hurston to Ralph Ellison, and from Toni Morrison to August Wilson. It contains entries on major works (including synopses of novels), such as Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Richard Wright's Native Son, and Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. It also incorporates information on literary characters such as Bigger Thomas, Coffin Ed Johnson, Kunta Kinte, Sula Peace, as well as on character types such as Aunt Jemima, Brer Rabbit, John Henry, Stackolee, and the trickster. Icons of black culture are addressed, including vivid details about the lives of Muhammad Ali, John Coltrane, Marcus Garvey, Jackie Robinson, John Brown, and Harriet Tubman.
Here, too, are general articles on poetry, fiction, and drama; on autobiography, slave narratives, Sunday School literature, and oratory; as well as on a wide spectrum of related topics. Compact yet thorough, this handy volume gathers works from a vast array of sources--from the black periodical press to women's clubs--making it one of the most substantial guides available on the growing, exciting world of African American literature.
"Andrews, Foster Smith and Harris have come together again to co-edit this concise edition....It has...reproduced in full the excellent critical articles, entries on major works, synopses of novels that made the parent volume such a valuable reference tool, and has updated the bibliographies with the titles of works published since 1997....[A] pleasure to have, and consult over and over again."--Kliatt
"This abbreviated version...retains the parent work's devotion to highlighting the writers and writings that have made African American literature valuable and distinctive."--Choice
"A comprehensive collection of African American writers includes contributions from Frederick Douglass, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and many others."--Forecast
"Here you'll find information on such well-known writers as Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison and Toni Morrison, as well as summaries of major works....Character types such as Aunt Jemima are discussed, along with such literary characters as Kunta Kinte."--The Orlando Sentinel