Cover image for Victims and heroes : racial violence in the African American novel
Victims and heroes : racial violence in the African American novel
Bryant, Jerry H., 1928-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, [1997]

Physical Description:
ix, 374 pages ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PS374.N4 B74 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



"An original piece of criticism and intellectual history that illuminates the significance of the treatment of violence in the African-American literary tradition". -- Herbert Shapiro

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Bryant focuses on the representation of interracial violence in African American novels of the last 150 years. His thesis is that African American novelists have treated with ambivalence counterviolence by blacks as a response to violent whites; he analyzes conflicting positions of approval and condemnation in works ranging from William Wells Brown's Clotel (the first African American novel) to Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon. Through the lens of literature, his book examines subject matter similar to that of Herbert Shapiro's historical study White Violence and Black Response (CH, Dec'88). Bryant's scholarship is thorough and his prose is free of jargon. Comfortable with both 19th- and 20th-century texts, the author provides close readings in the new critical tradition. As is also true of Bernard Bell's groundbreaking The Afro-American Novel and Its Tradition (CH, May'88), the scope of this study necessitates concise analyses. Although some readers may wish for more thorough discussion of particular novelists (for instance, James Baldwin), Bryant does an admirable job of surveying the material. Informative endnotes point the way to related sources. Recommended for all college and university libraries. M. J. Madigan; Nazareth College of Rochester

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