Cover image for Gloria Naylor's early novels
Gloria Naylor's early novels
Kelley, Margot Anne.
Publication Information:
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxiv, 168 pages ; 24 cm
Gloria Naylor's poetics of emancipation: (e)merging (im)possibilities in Bailey's cafe / Karen Schneider -- Women's screams and women's laughter: connections and creations in Gloria Naylor's novels / Jenny Brantley -- "Weapons against women": compulsory heterosexuality and capitalism in Linden Hills / Kimberly A. Costino -- Good housekeeping: domestic ritual in Gloria Naylor's fiction / Maxine Lavon Montgomery -- Metaphor and maternity in Mama day / Amy K. Levin -- Africana womanist revision in Gloria Naylor's Mama day and Bailey's cafe / Dorothy Perry Thompson -- "Into the midst of nothing": Gloria Naylor and the Différance / Philip Page -- Framing the possibilities: collective agency and the novels of Gloria Naylor / Margot Anne Kelley.
Reading Level:
1430 Lexile.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3564.A895 Z684 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



"An outstanding study of Naylor's work! It offers the quality and intensity of scholarship that her work deserves, and it is a significant addition to the body of scholarship that her work has inspired. Its ideas are large, but its language is accessible. . . . All of Naylor's fans will herald its presence."--Joyce Pettis, North Carolina State University

These essays about the important contemporary African-American novelist Gloria Naylor explore themes of race, class, domesticity, and sexual identity--the complex issues that contribute to Naylor's popularity with the general public as well as to her importance in the academy. They show how her novels function individually and how the first four-- The Women of Brewster Place (1982), Linden Hills (1985), Bailey's Caf#65533; (1992), and Mama Day (1993)--work together as a quartet. The essays illuminate Naylor's vision of a universe that is rich, complicated, and fraught with possibility and impossibility--a world in which "everything got four sides . . . [and] all of it is the truth."


Introduction: "Everything Got Four Sides"
1. Gloria Naylor's Poetics of Emancipation: Emerging
Impossibilities in Bailey's Caf#65533; , by Karen Schneider
2. Women's Screams and Women's Laughter: Connections and
Creations in Gloria Naylor's Novels, by Jenny Brantley
3. "Weapons Against Women": Compulsory Heterosexuality and
Capitalism in Linden Hills , by Kimberly A. Costino
4. Good Housekeeping: Domestic Ritual in Gloria Naylor's
Fiction, by Maxine Lavon Montgomery
5. Metaphor and Maternity in Mama Day , by Amy K. Levin
6. Africana Womanist Revision in Gloria Naylor's Mama Day and
Bailey's Caf#65533; , by Dorothy Perry Thompson
7. "Into the Midst of Nothing": Gloria Naylor and the
DiffJrance, by Philip Page
8. Framing the Possibilities: Collective Agency and the
Novels of Gloria Naylor, by Margot Anne Kelley

Margot Anne Kelley is associate professor of English at Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania. She is the author of several articles and book chapters on African-American women's literature and on Latina literature.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In viewing Naylor's first four books as a "quartet," Kelley (Ursinus College) takes a more cohesive approach to the fiction of this contemporary African American writer than do the editors of two earlier collections--Henry Louis Gates and K.A. Appiah (Gloria Naylor: Critical Perspectives Past and Present, CH, Dec'93) and Sharon Felton and Michelle Loris (The Critical Response to Gloria Naylor, 1997). Except for Philip Page's discussion of the complex imagery of wells (an expansion of his essay in the Felton-Loris volume), the essays are original to this gathering. Contributors include Karen Schneider, Jenny Brantley, Kimberly A. Costino, Maxine Lavon Montgomery, Amy K. Levin, and Dorothy Perry Thompson. Citing a variety of theorists from Derrida to Homi Bhabha, the essayists have a particular interest in issues of gender and ethnicity, and they suggest that the author of The Women of Brewster Place (1982) was influenced by the tradition of African women's secret societies as well as by European and African American literary antecedents. Their many subjects range from narrative frames to "domestic ritual" and critiques of "compulsory heterosexuality." Recommended for academic libraries serving upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. W. Hall; University of Mississippi