Cover image for African American writers
Title:
African American writers
Author:
Smith, Valerie, 1956-
Edition:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
2 volumes (xxxiv, 925 pages) : illustrations ; 29 cm.
Language:
English
Contents:
v. 1. James Baldwin to Gayl Jones -- v. 2. June Jordan to Richard Wright.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780684806389

9780684806396

9780684806402
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PS153.N5 A344 2001 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
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Central Library PS153.N5 A344 2001 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
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Summary

Summary

The Scribner Writers Series has set the standard for literary reference for more than 25 years. In addition to addressing the lives and careers of important writers, the articles discuss the themes and styles of major works and place them in pertinent historical, social and political contexts for today's readers. Novelists, playwrights, essayists, poets, short story writers, and more recently, genre writers in science fiction and mystery, are all expertly discussed in the more than 16 sets comprising this series.

Thirty-four articles from the acclaimed set have been updated, and 20 new writers who came to prominence since the mid-1980s have been added, expanding this original single-volume publication into two comprehensive volumes. Designed expressly with high school students in mind, the A-to-Z articles are clearly written and accompanied by photos of the authors.


Reviews 6

Booklist Review

African-American Writers is part of the publisher's A to Z of African Americans series, designed as biographical dictionaries for students and general readers. The current work has been revised by Reef, who updated the original edition, by Bader. Both Bader and Reef have backgrounds in American literature and do an excellent job on the approximately 160 entries. Each entry contains a short essay, ranging from one to three pages, that provides biographical material, a general discussion of the writer's work, and a brief list of sources for further research. More than 50 entries include a black-and-white photo of the author. Readers wanting to search for authors by genre; literary movement, subject matter, or style; or year of birth will appreciate the lists of authors under these categories, which precede the index. The revised edition contains new entries for a dozen authors, including Alvin Aubert, Marita Golden, and Randall Kenan. All entries from the previous edition have updated sources, and entries dealing with authors who are still publishing have updated essays. The cumulativ. Bibliography and Recommended Source. section following the entries has also been updated. The writers included cover a wide range of genres, including poetry, novels, short stories, plays, essays, and literary criticism. Coverage for children's and young adult writers is limited. Readers interested in children's and young adult authors should consult other works, such as Black Authors and Illustrators of Books for Children and Young Adults (Routledge, 2006). Otherwise, African-American Writers does a good job in serving as a general resource and is recommended for high-school, public, and undergraduate libraries. Also available as an e-book.--Crosser, Cynthi. Copyright 2010 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-In this clearly written, informative overview, Sickels examines the lives and major works of writers over the last 40 years. Eight authors are showcased, including Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, and Walter Dean Myers. Each chapter opens with a black-and-white photo and a brief biography, with the remainder of it dealing with a critical analysis of one or more of the writer's best-known works. Every critique includes a summary of the work and then a discussion of major themes. It's an approach that serves as a great introduction to some of America's major African-American writers. The list of additional reading suggests books by other major African-American authors, such as Richard Wright's Black Boy, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and James Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain. An extensive bibliography consists of works mainly from literary scholars who specialize in African-American literature. This is an outstanding contribution and should be a first purchase for high-school libraries.-Carol Jones Collins, Hanover Park High School, East Hanover, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Library Journal Review

This well-written and well-documented book will surely emerge as another classic in the field. As an addendum to the multivolume literary biography set American Writer , published in 1974, it offers a knowledgeable and poignant penetration into a diversity of African American authors who have made a profound contribution in American society. A professional presentation of each selected author contains a brief biography, principle writings, an appraisal of works, a bibliography of modern and paperback editions available, along with an analytical list of books and articles for further research by readers. This excellent guide communicates a message about the fabrics woven into American civilization by African American authors .-- Gayle S. Leach, Wayne State Univ. , Detroit (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

This biographical dictionary was "designed. . .to complement" the same publisher's 4-volume American Writers (CH, Jan'75). Although one could quibble over inclusion/exclusion decisions, there are no real surprises among the 33 writers who were selected. It is a disappointment, however, to find missing such luminaries as Arna Bontemps, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Alain Locke, and others. The time spectrum covered is wide, starting in the 18th century with Phillis Wheatley and continuing to writers who became prominent in the 1970s and '80s, e.g., Toni Morrison and Gloria Naylor, to name but two. The essays are arranged alphabetically. Each begins with a short biographical sketch, followed by a critical analysis (running 4,000 to 6,000 words) of the author's major works, and ends with a selected bibliography of primary and secondary sources. The essays are well written by a distinguished list of contributors, and the editors are to be congratulated; for while insisting on a uniformity of information, they have retained the distinct flavor of each contributing author. A chronology of significant dates and events and an essay "The Slave Narrative in American Literature" are special features which help to place the African American literary tradition into a broader context. This material can be found in other reference tools, but this volume does bring many of the better-known writers together in one place. Recommended at the high school, college, and university level, especially for those institutions that are not subscribers to more inclusive tools. -F. D. Goff, Bryn Mawr College


Library Journal Review

This well-written and well-documented book will surely emerge as another classic in the field. As an addendum to the multivolume literary biography set American Writer , published in 1974, it offers a knowledgeable and poignant penetration into a diversity of African American authors who have made a profound contribution in American society. A professional presentation of each selected author contains a brief biography, principle writings, an appraisal of works, a bibliography of modern and paperback editions available, along with an analytical list of books and articles for further research by readers. This excellent guide communicates a message about the fabrics woven into American civilization by African American authors .-- Gayle S. Leach, Wayne State Univ. , Detroit (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

This biographical dictionary was "designed. . .to complement" the same publisher's 4-volume American Writers (CH, Jan'75). Although one could quibble over inclusion/exclusion decisions, there are no real surprises among the 33 writers who were selected. It is a disappointment, however, to find missing such luminaries as Arna Bontemps, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Alain Locke, and others. The time spectrum covered is wide, starting in the 18th century with Phillis Wheatley and continuing to writers who became prominent in the 1970s and '80s, e.g., Toni Morrison and Gloria Naylor, to name but two. The essays are arranged alphabetically. Each begins with a short biographical sketch, followed by a critical analysis (running 4,000 to 6,000 words) of the author's major works, and ends with a selected bibliography of primary and secondary sources. The essays are well written by a distinguished list of contributors, and the editors are to be congratulated; for while insisting on a uniformity of information, they have retained the distinct flavor of each contributing author. A chronology of significant dates and events and an essay "The Slave Narrative in American Literature" are special features which help to place the African American literary tradition into a broader context. This material can be found in other reference tools, but this volume does bring many of the better-known writers together in one place. Recommended at the high school, college, and university level, especially for those institutions that are not subscribers to more inclusive tools. -F. D. Goff, Bryn Mawr College


Excerpts

Excerpts

Praise for the previous edition:...contains a wealth of information...a valuable addition to any library's collection.--American Reference Books Annual ...recommended for high-school, public, and undergraduate libraries...--Booklist ...well written and concise...very useful...Recommended.--Choice ...thorough, well-researched...well-organized and comprehensive...[an] excellent volume...--VOYA African-American Writers, Revised Edition profiles popular and prominent African-American writers across many genres of literature. Each entry in this thoroughly revised resource provides a biographical profile, concentrating on the major literary works and accomplishments of each author as well as an outline of his or her contributions to American literature. A general bibliography and subject indexes complete the text. New and revised profiles include: Maya Angelou Alvin Aubert Edwidge Danticat Eric Jerome Dickey John Hope Franklin Ernest J. Gaines Henry Louis Gates Jr. E. Lynn Harris Randall Kenan Suzan-Lori Parks Ntozake Shange Colson Whitehead and many more. Excerpted from African-American Writers by Philip Bader All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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