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4.0 out of 5 stars A Home Elsewhere, November 26, 2010
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This review is from: A Home Elsewhere: Reading African American Classics in the Age of Obama (The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures) (Hardcover)
A Home Elsewhere is an impressive collection of six academic lectures and essays by Robert Stepto, Professor of American Studies, African-American Studies, and English at Yale University. I was first drawn to this book after reading Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama. In the first half of the compilation, Stepto collates 'Dreams...' with other classic African-American narratives and novels such as My Bondage and My Freedom - Frederick Douglass, Their Eyes Were Watching God and The Souls of Black Folk to name a few. The authors and/or characters and the episode, scene or storyline are compared and contrasted to bring similarities to light.

The second half of the book ranges from an engaging memoir of Stepo's first year of collegiate life in 'A Greyhound Kind of Mood' to an erudite essay in 'Afterword: Distrust of the Reader in Afro-American Narratives'. Also included here is a brief introduction to Willard Savoy and his protagonist, Kern Roberts, in Savoy's novel Alien Land (Northeastern Library of Black Literature).

If you are a reader, avid or otherwise, of important African-American literary work, you will appreciate Stepo's scholarly treatment as he situates authors, characters and narratives in the Age of Obama.

Besides the titles listed above, the following are other notable references used in A Home Elsewhere:
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
The Heroic Slave (Dodo Press)
The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
Song of Solomon
Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, Written by Himself
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A Home Elsewhere: Reading African American Classics in the Age of Obama (The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures)
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