Cover image for Afro-American fiction writers after 1955
Afro-American fiction writers after 1955
Davis, Thadious M., 1944-
Publication Information:
Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., [1984]

Physical Description:
xiii, 350 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm.
General Note:
"A Bruccoli Clark book."

Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS153.N5 A34 1984 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



The mid-1950s brought changes not only to the political and social worlds of African-Americans in the United States, but to their literary world as well-changes reflected in and effected by writers profiled in this DLB volume. Much of the impetus for the surge in black creativity after 1955 came from the 1954 Supreme Court decision abolishing 'separate but equal' education. Black writers were caught up in the growing civil rights and nationalist movements. These movements inspired less traditional African-American literary forms, such as science fiction and children's fiction, less emphasis on religion in writing, and the emergence of more published women writers. Subject matter changed also, as these writers focussed less on black/white conflicts and more on the black family and community. 49 entries include: James Baldwin, Octavia E. Butler, Susan R. Delaney, Virginia Hamilton, Frank E.M. Hercules,Kristin Hunter,Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Thomas, Alice Walker and Al Young.The criticism alone is of enormous value to students in college and graduate literature courses.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Volumes 33 and 38 of this distinguished series deal excellently with black American writers since 1955 (after the era of Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison). Both are edited with taste and care by the accomplished literary historians Thadious M. Davis and Trudier Harris. The books contain a good measure more than the formulas and summaries of most such literary dictionaries. The appendixes include excellent essays on black literature and its critics by Larry Neal, Darwin T. Turner, Rhett S. Jones, and other leading scholars. And the literary biographies themselves are fine, and feature ``cutting edge'' (along with established and barely known) critics on writers both known and not known: Henry Louis Gates Jr. on Ishmael Reed (perhaps the finest essay), Barbara T. Christian on Alice Walker and Paule Marshall, William J. Harris on Al Young, Valerie Smith on David Bradley. It is as exciting and useful to get up-to-date biographies (and bibliographies) of Baldwin and Morrison as it is to meet such new writers as Samm-Art Williams, Alexis Deveaux, and Herbert Alfred Simmons. For the library whose community (academic or otherwise) includes serious readers of modern writing by American blacks, these books are indispensable.-R.G. O'Meally, Wesleyan University