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The Norton Anthology of African American Literature 2nd Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393977783
ISBN-10: 0393977781
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Brilliant, definitive, and a joy to teach from. -- Russ Castronovo, University of Miami

About the Author

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Ph.D.Cambridge), is Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and American Research, Harvard University. He is the author of Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513–2008; Black in Latin America; Tradition and the Black Atlantic: Critical Theory in the African Diaspora; Faces of America; Figures in Black: Words, Signs, and the Racial Self; The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Criticism; Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars; Colored People: A Memoir; The Future of Race with Cornel West; Wonders of the African World; Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man; and The Trials of Phillis Wheatley. His is also the writer, producer, and narrator of PBS documentaries Finding Your Roots; Black in Latin America; Faces of America; African American Lives 1 and 2; Looking for Lincoln; America Beyond the Color Line; and Wonders of the African World. He is the editor of African American National Biography with Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and The Dictionary of African Biography with Anthony Appiah; Encyclopedia Africana with Anthony Appiah; and The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts, as well as editor-in-chief of TheRoot.com.

Nellie Y. McKay (Ph.D. Harvard), General Editor. Professor of American and Afro-American Literature, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Associate editor of the African American Review; author of Jean Toomer―the Artist: A Study of His Literary Life and Work, 1894–1936; editor of Critical Essays on Toni Morrison; co-editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Beloved―A Casebook, and Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Toni Morrison.

William L. Andrews is E. Maynard Adams Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is general editor of Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography and The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology, and co-editor of The Oxford Companion to African American Literature and The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Other works include the Norton Critical Edition of Up From Slavery; The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt; To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of Afro- American Autobiography, 1760–1865; Sisters of the Spirit; The Curse of Caste by Julia C. Collins; Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave; and Slave Narratives after Slavery.

Houston A. Baker, Jr. (Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles), Editor, "The Black Arts Era." George D. and Susan Fox Beischer Professor of English, Duke University. Editor of American Literature; Editor of the anthology Black Literature in America and author of three books of poetry. Other works include Afro-American Poetics: Revisions of Harlem and The Black Aesthetic; Workings of the Spirit: A Poetics of Afro-American Women’s Writing; Black Studies, Rap, and the Academy; Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature: A Vernacular Theory; Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance; Turning South Again: Re-Thinking Modernism/Re-Reading Booker T.

Frances Smith Foster (Ph.D. University of California, San Diego), Editor, The Literature of the Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance; Co-Editor, The Literature of Slavery and Freedom. Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Women’s Studies, Emory University. Author of “Til Death or Distance Do Us Part”: Love and Marriage in African America; Written by Herself: Literary Production by African American Women, 1746–1892; and Witnessing Slavery: The Development of the Antebellum Slave Narrative. Co-editor of the Oxford Companion to African American Literature and Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Editor of several works, including Love and Marriage in Early African America; Minnie’s Sacrifice, Sowing and Reaping, Trial and Triumph: Three Rediscovered Novels by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper; Elizabeth Keckley’s Behind the Scenes; and the Norton Critical Edition of Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

Deborah E. McDowell (Ph.D. Purdue), Co-Editor, Realism, Naturalism, Modernism. Alice Griffin Professor of English, University of Virginia. Founding editor of the Beacon Black Women Writers series; co-editor with Arnold Rampersad of Slavery of the Literary Imagination; author of "The Changing Same”: Studies in Fiction by Black Women; Leaving the Pipe Shop: Memories of Kin; editor of Nella Larsen's Quicksand and Passing, Jessie Redmon Fauset's Plum Bun, Pauline Hopkins’s Of One Blood, and numerous articles and essays.

Robert G. O'Meally (Ph.D. Harvard), Editor, The Vernacular Tradition. Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature and founder of the Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University. Author of The Jazz Singers; The Craft of Ralph Ellison; Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday; and Romare Bearden; A Black Odyssey. Editor of the essay collections History and Memory in African American Culture; New Essays on Invisible Man: Tales of the Congaree; The Jazz Cadence of American Culture; co-editor of History and Memory in African American Culture and Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies.

Arnold Rampersad (Ph.D. Harvard) is the Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus, at Stanford University. He is co-editor (with Deborah E. McDowell) of Slavery and the Literary Imagination, and editor of the definitive Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. He is the author of the two-volume biography The Life of Langston Hughes, Jackie Robinson: A Biography, and co-author (with Arthur Ashe) of Days of Grace: A Memoir. He is also editor of “The Harlem Renaissance.”

Hortense Spillers (Ph.D. Brandeis), Co-Editor, Realism, Naturalism, Modernism, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English, Vanderbilt University. Author of the essay collection Black, White, and in Color. Editor of the collection Comparative American Identities: Race, Sex, and Nationality in the Modern Text; co-editor with Marjorie Pryse of Conjuring: Black Women, Fiction and the Literary Tradition, and an editor of The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Director of Issues in Critical Investigation (ICI), an initiative to stimulate new scholarship in African diasporic studies, which she founded in 2007; founding editor of The A-Line Journal, A Journal of Progressive Commentary, which she launched in 2013. Recent work has appeared in Callaloo and boundary 2.

Cheryl A. Wall (Ph.D. Harvard), Editor, Literature Since 1975. Board of Governors Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English, Rutgers University. Author of Worrying the Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage, and Literary Tradition and Women of the Harlem Renaissance. Editor of Zora Neale Hurston: Novels and Stories and Zora Neale Hurston: Folklore, Memoirs & Other Writings; two volumes of criticism on Hurston’s fiction, “Sweat”: Texts and Contexts and Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Casebook; and Changing Our Own Words: Essays on Criticism, Theory, and Writing by Black Women. Co-editor with Linda J. Holmes of Savoring the Salt: The Legacy of Toni Cade Bambara.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 2776 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 2 edition (December 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393977781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393977783
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I noticed that someone asked for a review of this piece, here is something I did when the first edition came out in 1997, for the newspaper I worked for at the time, the Durham Herald-Sun. Published 01/05/97

African-American lit anthology's `heavy' - UNC professor helped as canon was decided for long-awaited book

Byline: ERNIE SUGGS The Herald-Sun

When discussing African-American literature, the name Victor Sejour doesn't stand out as readily as the likes of Harriet Jacobs, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes and James Baldwin.

But the work of the expatriate who left New Orleans for Paris at the age of 20 has just rewritten history. His short story, ``Le Mulatre,'' (The Mulatto) published in France in 1837, now is considered the oldest known work of fiction by an African-American writer.

The piece was discovered in 1992 by UNC English Professor William L. Andrews for special inclusion in the new ``Norton Anthology of African American Literature.''

Sejour's work is among dozens by African-American writers, poets, preachers, essayists, singers and even rappers included in the massive tome, which was published Dec. 16.

``Heavy,'' said Duke University's director of Afro-American studies, Karla Holloway, in describing the new anthology.

``This is exactly what we have been waiting for,'' Holloway said. ``It is thorough, the coverage is impressive and it has weight, literally and physically.''

At 2,655 pages, the single, 21/2-pound volume is indeed heavy.

But the weight of what is on the pages may be enough to change the way African-American literature is perceived for generations.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., W.E.
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This book was "required" reading for my college English course - African American Literature. It is full of amazing works that in my lifetime were hidden from view (I am a senior, that is in age, not as in school level). It is a rather large book for just casual reading. However, it is a wonderful book to use as a reference. I know it will stay on our bookshelf until the pages turn yellow and crumble. As far as Amazon is concerned, the price was good and the delivery time great.
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Seeking a canon of African American literature? Look no further. I was required to have this textbook for a course and I wish I could have kept it. As an English major, it is insightful and contains some profound writing. I would recommend this to anyone interested in learning more about African American writers, orators, and the like through literature. A literary compilation feat!
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I really enjoyed this book. It was used as a text book for my African American Literature class. The different styles of literature and variety of authors from the beginning of our African American history to modern times was impressive to view. This was one of the few text books that I did not want to sell back after the course ended.
The small print and thin paper used is the reason I am giving the book a 4 instead of a 5.
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A great collection of meaningful stories! The African American culture is so interesting and different, that it we captivate you if you haven't read about it before. This class didn't count as a literature course for my degree, but I'm glad I took it anyways!
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This is an amazing collaboration of African American published authors. This should be required material in schools. African American slaves authors are included in this collection of stories, which lets the reader understand their oppression but also insight of their version of the era in which he or she lived.
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I bought this used for an English Class. It covers a pretty wide range of time periods and subject matter, so if you're interested in learning about African American literature, this is a pretty good start. My copy came with a CD, but I haven't used it, so I can't judge its contents.
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Chances are, most people ordering this are like me and will need this for a class in college or something. If so, it certainly does what you need it to do. Lots of classic works from well-known African authors.
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