"Covering 400 years of writing, this balanced reference is a comprehensive overview of the literary traditions, oral and print, of African-descended peoples in the United States, with expert contributors from this country and beyond. It does an excellent job of collecting current scholarship while suggesting new approaches to that effort. The work provides a reasonably complete chronological accounting from early oral traditions of the 17th century to classic works from late 19th-century writers such as poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, through Langston Hughes in the Harlem Renaissance, to the most recent decades where August Wilson became the most produced playwright in the 1990s."
-Library Journal, Best Reference 2011: Language & Linguistics
"Comprised of newly published essays by leading and emerging scholars in African American literature, CHAAL chronicles four hundred years of black writing and cultural production across multiple genres of writing (e.g., fiction, drama, and poetry) as well as across multiple physical, social, and ideological terrains. Since constructing a literary his- tory is at the center of this project, editors Maryemma Graham and Jerry Ward, Jr. carefully articulate the basis upon which this text articulates such a history."
The first major twenty-first century history of four centuries of black writing, this volume presents a comprehensive overview of the literary traditions of African-descended peoples in the USA. Both a work of reference and a compelling narrative, it will remain essential reading for scholars and students in years to come.