Cover image for The concise Oxford companion to African American literature
The concise Oxford companion to African American literature
Andrews, William L., 1946-
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xxii, 488 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS153.N5 C59 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PS153.N5 C59 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

On Order



A breathtaking achievement, this Concise Companion is a suitable crown to the astonishing production in African American literature and criticism that has swept over American literary studies in the last two decades. It offers an enormous range of writers-from Sojourner Truth to FrederickDouglass, from Zora Neale Hurston to Ralph Ellison, and from Toni Morrison to August Wilson. It contains entries on major works (including synopses of novels), such as Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Richard Wright's Native Son, and Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun.It also incorporates information on literary characters such as Bigger Thomas, Coffin Ed Johnson, Kunta Kinte, Sula Peace, as well as on character types such as Aunt Jemima, Brer Rabbit, John Henry, Stackolee, and the trickster. Icons of black culture are addressed, including vivid details about thelives of Muhammad Ali, John Coltrane, Marcus Garvey, Jackie Robinson, John Brown, and Harriet Tubman. Here, too, are general articles on poetry, fiction, and drama; on autobiography, slave narratives, Sunday School literature, and oratory; as well as on a wide spectrum of related topics. Compact yet thorough, this handy volume gathers works from a vast array of sources--from the black periodicalpress to women's clubs--making it one of the most substantial guides available on the growing, exciting world of African American literature.

Author Notes

William L. Andrews is at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Frances Smith Foster is at Emory University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This abbreviated version of The Oxford Companion to African American Literature, ed. by William L. Andrews et al. (CH, Jan'98) retains the parent work's devotion to highlighting the writers and writing that have made African American literature valuable and distinctive. It omits extensive information about concepts, genres, social, cultural, and artistic movements, but focuses on notable writers and their works. Not all biographical articles from the parent edition are retained. One useful feature is the updated information on significant literary works that writers have published, prizes and awards they have won, and significant critical and scholarly works about individual writers. Recommended for libraries that did not purchase or cannot afford the original. N. M. Allen University of South Florida at Sarasota