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Giant talk: An anthology of Third World writings Hardcover – 1975

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 546 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; 1st edition (1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394714431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394714431
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 5.8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,614,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reader in Tokyo on December 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book was published in 1975 and is one of the earliest anthologies in English of world lit that I've seen. Defining the Third World as "the world of the politically and economically oppressed" regardless of race, class or geography, it included some 206 poems, 25 short stories and 21 novel excerpts from some 160 writers from the United States, Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean. Slightly more than half the book was devoted to the prose. Nearly all the U.S. writers were African American or Native American. There was nothing from Asia or the Middle East.

The selections were grouped under the broad, often overlapping categories of oppression and protest, violence, crisis of identity, music/language/rhythm, humor, ritual and magic, and "conceptual voyage," which the compilers argued were phases of development of Third World consciousness. Most of the pieces were published in the 1960s and 1970s.

I wouldn't have opened this book for the poems alone, but was impressed by humane poetry by Chinua Achebe, Sterling Brown, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Claude McKay and Christopher Okigbo. Although many of the other poems were beyond me, I really enjoyed the large number and variety of prose writers from the regions covered. The compilers' theoretical framework wasn't necessary to learn from and enjoy the works.

Favorites were an excerpt from Another Country by James Baldwin, for the sensitive description from a man's point of view of the start of a relationship, and the short stories "The Cat" by Mario Arregui, "The Man" by Juan Rulfo and When the Rain Stops" by Antonio Montana, for their especially vivid, expressionistic styles.
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