understanding edward p jones understanding contemporary american literature

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Understanding Edward P Jones

Author : James W. Coleman
ISBN : 9781611176452
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 83. 75 MB
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In Understanding Edward P. Jones, James W. Coleman analyzes Jones’s award-winning works as well as the significant influences that have shaped his craft. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Jones has made that city and its African American community the subject of or background for most of his fiction. Though Jones’s first work was published in 1976, his career developed slowly. While he worked for two decades as a proofreader and abstractor, Jones published short fiction in such periodicals as Essence, the New Yorker, and Paris Review. His first collection, Lost in the City, won the PEN/Hemingway Award, and subsequent books, including The Known World and All Aunt Hagar’s Children, received similar accolades, including the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Following an overview of Jones’s life, influences, and career, Coleman provides an introduction to the technique of Jones’s fiction, which he likens to a tapestry, woven of intricate, varied, and sometimes disparate elements. He then analyzes the formal structure, themes, and characters of The Known World and devotes a chapter each to the short story collections Lost in the City and All Aunt Hagar’s Children. His discussion of these volumes focuses on Jones’s narrative technique; the themes of family, community, and broader tradition; and the connections through which the stories in each volume collectively create a thematic whole. In his final chapter, Coleman assesses Jones’s encompassing outlook that sees African American life in distinct periods but also as a historical whole, simultaneously in the future, the past, and the present.

Lost In The City

Author : Edward P. Jones
ISBN : 0061748714
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 53. 71 MB
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“Original and arresting….[Jones’s] stories will touch chords of empathy and recognition in all readers.” —Washington Post “These 14 stories of African-American life…affirm humanity as only good literature can.” —Los Angeles Times A magnificent collection of short fiction focusing on the lives of African-American men and women in Washington, D.C., Lost in the City is the book that first brought author Edward P. Jones to national attention. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and numerous other honors for his novel The Known World, Jones made his literary debut with these powerful tales of ordinary people who live in the shadows in this metropolis of great monuments and rich history. Lost in the City received the Pen/Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction and was a National Book Award Finalist. This beautiful 20th Anniversary Edition features a new introduction by the author, and is a wonderful companion piece to Jones’s masterful novel and his second acclaimed collection of stories, All Aunt Hagar’s Children.

All Aunt Hagar S Children

Author : Edward P. Jones
ISBN : 0061857149
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 69. 69 MB
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In fourteen sweeping and sublime stories, five of which have been published in The New Yorker, the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Known World shows that his grasp of the human condition is firmer than ever Returning to the city that inspired his first prizewinning book, Lost in the City, Jones has filled this new collection with people who call Washington, D.C., home. Yet it is not the city's power brokers that most concern him but rather its ordinary citizens. All Aunt Hagar's Children turns an unflinching eye to the men, women, and children caught between the old ways of the South and the temptations that await them further north, people who in Jones's masterful hands, emerge as fully human and morally complex, whether they are country folk used to getting up with the chickens or people with centuries of education behind them. In the title story, in which Jones employs the first-person rhythms of a classic detective story, a Korean War veteran investigates the death of a family friend whose sorry destiny seems inextricable from his mother's own violent Southern childhood. In "In the Blink of God's Eye" and "Tapestry" newly married couples leave behind the familiarity of rural life to pursue lives of urban promise only to be challenged and disappointed. With the legacy of slavery just a stone's throw away and the future uncertain, Jones's cornucopia of characters will haunt readers for years to come.

Understanding Chuck Palahniuk

Author : Douglas Keesey
ISBN : 9781611176988
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 61. 49 MB
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Ever since his first novel, Fight Club, was made into a cult film by David Fincher, Chuck Palahniuk has been a consistent presence on the New York Times best-seller list. A target of critics but a fan favorite, Palahniuk has been loathed and loved in equal measure for his dark humor, edgy topics, and confrontational writing style. In close readings of Fight Club and the thirteen novels that this controversial author has published since, Douglas Keesey argues that Palahniuk is much more than a “shock jock” engaged in mere sensationalism. His visceral depictions of sex and violence have social, psychological, and religious significance. Keesey takes issue with reviewers who accuse Palahniuk of being an angry nihilist and a misanthrope, showing instead that he is really a romantic at heart and a believer in community. In this first comprehensive introduction to Palahniuk’s fiction, Keesey reveals how this writer’s outrageous narratives are actually rooted in his own personal experiences, how his seemingly unprecedented works are part of the American literary tradition of protagonists in search of an identity, and how his negative energy is really social satire directed at specific ills that he diagnoses and wishes to cure. After tracing the influence of his working-class background, his journalistic education, and his training as a “minimalist” writer, Understanding Chuck Palahniuk exposes connections between the writer’s novels by grouping them thematically: the struggle for identity (Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, Choke); the horror trilogy (Lullaby, Diary, Haunted); teen terrors (Rant, Pygmy); porn bodies and romantic myths (Snuff, Tell-All, Beautiful You); and a decidedly unorthodox revision of Dante’s Divine Comedy (Damned, Doomed). Drawing on numerous author interviews and written in an engaging and accessible style, Understanding Chuck Palahniuk should appeal to scholars, students, and fans alike.

Understanding Adrienne Rich

Author : Jeannette E. Riley
ISBN : 9781611177008
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 50. 87 MB
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Among the most celebrated American poets of the past half century, Adrienne Rich was the recipient of awards ranging from the Bollingen Prize, to the National Book Award, to the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award. In Understanding Adrienne Rich, Jeannette E. Riley assesses the full scope of Rich’s long career from 1957 to her death in 2012 through a chronological exploration of her poetry and prose. Beginning with Rich’s first two formally traditional collections, published in the late 1950s, then moving to the increasingly radical collections of the 1960s and 1970s, Riley details the evolution of Rich’s feminist poetics as she investigated issues of identity, sexuality, gender, the desire to reclaim women’s history, the dream of a common language, and a separate community for women. Riley then tracks how Rich’s writing shifted outward from the 1980s and 1990s to the end of her career as she evaluated her own life and place within her society. Rich examined her country’s history as well, asking readers to consider what responsibility each person has—individually and communally—for changing the conditions under which we live. This book documents Rich’s developing charge that poetry carries the ability to create social change and engage people in the democratic process. Throughout, Understanding Adrienne Rich interweaves explications of Rich’s poetry with her prose, offering a close look at the development of the author’s voice from formalist poet, to feminist visionary, to citizen poet. In doing so, this volume provides a survey of Rich’s career and her impact on American literature and politics.

Understanding Walter Mosley

Author : Jennifer Larson
ISBN : 9781611177022
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 73. 17 MB
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Walter Mosley is perhaps best known for his first published mystery, Devil in a Blue Dress, which became the basis for the 1995 movie of the same name featuring Denzel Washington. Mosley has since written more than forty books across an impressive expanse of genres including, but not limited to, nonfiction, science fiction, drama, and even young adult fiction, garnering him many honors including an O’Henry Award, an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, a Grammy Award, a Pen Center Lifetime Achievement Award, and two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Literary Work in Fiction. In Understanding Walter Mosley, Jennifer Larson considers Mosley’s corpus as a whole to help readers more fully understand the evolution of his literary agenda. All Mosley’s texts feature his trademark accessibility as well as his penchant for creating narratives that both entertain and instruct. Larson examines how Mosley’s writing interrogates, complicates, and contextualizes recurring moral, social, and even personal questions. She also considers the possible roots of Mosley’s enduring popularity with a diverse group of readers. Larson then traces key themes and claims throughout the Easy Rawlins series to show how Mosley’s beloved hero offers unique perspectives on race, class, and masculinity in the mid– to late twentieth century; explores the ways in which Fearless Jones, Mosley’s second detective, both builds on and diverges from his predecessor’s character; and looks at how the works featuring Leonid McGill, Mosley’s junior detective, center on understanding the complex relationship between present-day social dilemmas and the personal as well as the communal past. Regarding Mosley’s other genres, Larson argues that the science fiction works together portray a future in which race, class, and gender are completely reimagined, yet still subject to an oppressive power dynamic, while his erotica asks readers to reconsider the dynamics of power and control but in a more personal, even intimate, context. Similarly, in Mosley’s nongenre fiction, stories are revived through a reconnection with the past, a reclaiming of cultural heritage and lineage, and a rejection of classist visions of power. Finally, Mosley’s nonfiction, which persuades his audience to act through writing, humanitarian efforts, or social uprising, offers a mix of lessons aimed at guiding readers through the same questions that inform his fiction writing.

Understanding Susan Sontag

Author : Carl Rollyson
ISBN : 9781611176810
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 54. 8 MB
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With the publication of Susan Sontag's diaries, the development of her career can now be evaluated in a more genetic sense, so that the origins of her ideas and plans for publication are made plain in the context of her role as a public intellectual, who is increasingly aware of her impact on her culture. In Understanding Susan Sontag, Carl Rollyson not only provides an introduction to her essays, novels, plays, films, diaries, and uncollected work published in various periodicals, he now has a lens through which to reevaluate classic texts such as Against Interpretation and On Photography, providing both students and advanced scholars a renewed sense of her importance and impact. Rollyson devotes separate chapters to Sontag’s biography; her early novels; her landmark essay collections Against Interpretation and Styles of Radical Will; her films; her major mid-career books, On Photography and its sequel, Regarding the Pain of Others; and Illness as Metaphor and its sequel, AIDS and Its Metaphors, together with her groundbreaking short story, “The Way We Live Now.” Sontag’s later essay collections and biographical profiles, collected in Under the Sign of Saturn, Where the Stress Falls, and At The Same Time: Essays and Speeches, also receive a fresh assessment, as does her later work in short fiction, the novel, and drama, with a chapter discussing I, etcetera; two historical novels, The Volcano Lover and In America; and her plays, A Parsifal, Alice in Bed, and her adaptation of Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea. Chapters on her diaries and uncollected prose, along with a primary and secondary bibliography, complete this comprehensive study.

The Known World

Author : Edward P. Jones
ISBN : 9780061746369
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 87. 43 MB
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From Edward P. Jones comes one of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory—winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. The Known World tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who falls under the tutelage of William Robbins, the most powerful man in Manchester County, Virginia. Making certain he never circumvents the law, Townsend runs his affairs with unusual discipline. But when death takes him unexpectedly, his widow, Caldonia, can't uphold the estate's order, and chaos ensues. Edward P. Jones has woven a footnote of history into an epic that takes an unflinching look at slavery in all its moral complexities. “A masterpiece that deserves a place in the American literary canon.”—Time

Notes Of A Native Son

Author : James Baldwin
ISBN : 9780807006245
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 28. 42 MB
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In an age of Black Lives Matter, James Baldwin's essays on life in Harlem, the protest novel, movies, and African Americans abroad are as powerful today as when they were first written. With documentaries like I Am Not Your Negro bringing renewed interest to Baldwin's life and work, Notes of a Native Son serves as a valuable introduction. Written during the 1940s and early 1950s, when Baldwin was only in his twenties, the essays collected in Notes of a Native Son capture a view of black life and black thought at the dawn of the civil rights movement and as the movement slowly gained strength through the words of one of the most captivating essayists and foremost intellectuals of that era. Writing as an artist, activist, and social critic, Baldwin probes the complex condition of being black in America. With a keen eye, he examines everything from the significance of the protest novel to the motives and circumstances of the many black expatriates of the time, from his home in “The Harlem Ghetto” to a sobering “Journey to Atlanta.” Notes of a Native Son inaugurated Baldwin as one of the leading interpreters of the dramatic social changes erupting in the United States in the twentieth century, and many of his observations have proven almost prophetic. His criticism on topics such as the paternalism of white progressives or on his own friend Richard Wright’s work is pointed and unabashed. He was also one of the few writing on race at the time who addressed the issue with a powerful mixture of outrage at the gross physical and political violence against black citizens and measured understanding of their oppressors, which helped awaken a white audience to the injustices under their noses. Naturally, this combination of brazen criticism and unconventional empathy for white readers won Baldwin as much condemnation as praise. Notes is the book that established Baldwin’s voice as a social critic, and it remains one of his most admired works. The essays collected here create a cohesive sketch of black America and reveal an intimate portrait of Baldwin’s own search for identity as an artist, as a black man, and as an American.

Contemporary African American Literature

Author : Lovalerie King
ISBN : 9780253006974
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 31. 60 MB
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In this volume, Lovalerie King and Shirley Moody-Turner have compiled a collection of essays that offer access to some of the most innovative contemporary black fiction while addressing important issues in current African American literary studies. Distinguished scholars Houston Baker, Trudier Harris, Darryl Dickson-Carr, and Maryemma Graham join writers and younger scholars to explore the work of Toni Morrison, Edward P. Jones, Trey Ellis, Paul Beatty, Mat Johnson, Kyle Baker, Danzy Senna, Nikki Turner, and many others. The collection is bracketed by a foreword by novelist and graphic artist Mat Johnson, one of the most exciting and innovative contemporary African American writers, and an afterword by Alice Randall, author of the controversial parody The Wind Done Gone. Together, King and Moody-Turner make the case that diversity, innovation, and canon expansion are essential to maintaining the vitality of African American literary studies.

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