Cover image for Reclaiming community in contemporary African-American fiction
Title:
Reclaiming community in contemporary African-American fiction
Author:
Page, Philip.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
x, 256 pages ; 23 cm
Language:
English
Reading Level:
1430 Lexile.
ISBN:
9781578061228

9781578061235
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PS374.N4 P34 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

The time is right for bright, aggressive newspaper managers to influence and prosper, but bleak indeed for those newspapers whose managers lack the requisite knowledge. Using case studies and examples from the business, Fink shows why some newspapers change with the times and surge ahead and why some continue to publish to an eroding market base and fail.

The difference between success and failure, he concludes, is in "long-range planning and in daily operating methodology#151;in, simply, the professionalism of management at all levels."


Summary

As a reaction against persistent black exclusion from white American society, the novels of some recent African-American writers boldly celebrate the heritage of black culture. They acclaim a people once dispersed by racism and humiliation but now restoring its legacy of rich community life.

For close examination of this theme, Philip Page brings together five novelists who are in the forefront of contemporary fiction--Toni Cade Bambara, Ernest Gaines, Charles Johnson, Gloria Naylor, and John Edgar Wideman. As their voices combine for an ongoing dialogue on the importance of community in the African-American world, they articulate the problems and the potential for African-American culture and for America itself.

Page's lucid explications of seventeen of their works show these authors speaking more thoroughly and more forcefully than any other contemporary writers on the meaning of community to the lives of individuals combating forces that alienate them. Their novels discover that the complex bonds uniting and redeeming the community also empower individuals. In the achievement of the African-American community each novelist sees ways to rebuild and reshape America.

Gaining its special force through voicing national concerns and through never backing away from the truth in the face of stubborn opposition, the fiction of these five writers contributes to postmodernist debates on race, the repressed past, and the contemporary American conscience.


Author Notes

Philip Page is a professor of English at California State University at San Bernardino. He is the author of Dangerous Freedom: Fusion and Fragmentation in Toni Morrison's Novels (University Press of Mississippi).


Philip Page is a professor of English at California State University at San Bernardino. He is the author of Dangerous Freedom: Fusion and Fragmentation in Toni Morrison's Novels (University Press of Mississippi).


Reviews 1

Choice Review

Page's title does not begin to suggest the complexity of the analyses of numerous dimensions of the novels under discussion. Among the author's chief concerns are "the consequences of endless passage" (beginning with the Middle Passage); recovery of the past/heritage (both African and American); envisioning of the future (including the role of the "apocalyptic tradition" and the carnivalesque); "the vagaries of identity formation"; "the necessity and the difficulties of maintaining African American cultural cohesion"; and the importance of the "collective creation of an intersubjective web of shared assumptions, mutual values." In elucidating these, Page (California State Univ., San Bernardino) emphasizes such techniques as storytelling, "magic realism" and dreams, nonlinear narration, and multiple narrators. His somewhat arbitrary selection of the five novelists--"meant not to be inclusive but . . . manageable"--includes John Edgar Wideman (with a focus primarily on Sent for You Yesterday, Reuben, Philadelphia Fire, The Cattle Killing), Toni Cade Bambara (The Salt Eaters), Charles Johnson (Oxherding Tale, Middle Passage), Gloria Naylor (primarily Mama Day, Bailey's Cafe), and Ernest J. Gaines (primarily In My Father's House, A Gathering of Old Men, A Lesson before Dying). The results are exceedingly informative and provocative. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. E. Steiner; Drew University


Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
1 At the Crossroadsp. 1
2 "Always Yes and Always No"p. 37
3 "Across the Borders"p. 78
4 "As Within, So It Is Without"p. 116
5 "Listening Below the Surface"p. 157
6 "You Don't See What I Don't See"p. 191
7 Performing Cultural Workp. 222
Notesp. 227
Works Citedp. 235
Indexp. 247
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
1 At the Crossroadsp. 1
2 "Always Yes and Always No"p. 37
3 "Across the Borders"p. 78
4 "As Within, So It Is Without"p. 116
5 "Listening Below the Surface"p. 157
6 "You Don't See What I Don't See"p. 191
7 Performing Cultural Workp. 222
Notesp. 227
Works Citedp. 235
Indexp. 247

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