Cover image for In the African-American grain : call-and-response in twentieth-century Black fiction
In the African-American grain : call-and-response in twentieth-century Black fiction
Callahan, John F., 1940-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xxi, 280 pages ; 23 cm
Who you for?: voice and the African-American fiction of democratic identity -- Spoken in the written word: African-American tales and the middle passage from Uncle Remus: His songs and sayings to The conjure woman -- "By de singin' uh de song": the search for reciprocal voice in Cane -- "Mah tongue is mah friend's mouf": the rhetoric of intimacy and immensity in Their eyes were watching God -- Frequencies of eloquence: the performance and composition of Invisible man -- A moveable form: the loose end blues of The autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman -- Hoop of language: politics and the restoration of voice in Meridian -- Who we for?: the extended call of African-American fiction.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS153.N5 C34 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



An exploration of the impact of African-American oral storytelling techniques on modern and contemporary fiction. This book shows how African-American writers have used the forms and forces of this discourse to establish a potential relationship between storyteller and audience; and also a potential for change.

Author Notes

John F. Callahan is Morgan S. Odell Professor of Humanistics at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Illinois Paperbackp. ix
Introduction to the Wesleyan Editionp. xvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xxiii
Author's Notep. xxiv
1 Who You For?: Voice and the African-American Fiction of Democratic Identityp. 1
2 The Spoken in the Written Word: African-American Tales and the Middle Passage from Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings to The Conjure Womanp. 25
3 "By de Singin' uh de Song": The Search for Reciprocal Voice in Canep. 62
4 "Mah Tongue Is in Mah Friend's Mouf": The Rhetoric of Intimacy and Immensity in Their Eyes Were Watching Godp. 115
5 Frequencies of Eloquence: The Performance and Composition of Invisible Manp. 150
6 A Moveable Form: The Loose End Blues of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittmanp. 189
7 The Hoop of Language: Politics and the Restoration of Voice in Meridianp. 217
8 Who We For?: The Extended Call of African-American Fictionp. 256
Indexp. 265