Profiles important African American writers in all genres - long fiction, short fiction, poetry, drama, young adult fiction, mystery / detective fiction and nonfiction.
From slave narratives to abolitionist tracts, from the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's to the Black Arts movement of the 1960's and 1970's, African American writers have always influenced literature in the United States. These individuals have served as spokespersons against slavery and segregation in previous centuries and catalysts for social change and reflection in more recent times. Through discussions of their lives and literature, Notable African American Writers helps readers to better understand the experience of African Americans.
Scope and Coverage
Notable African American Writers compiles approximately 80 essays on great novelists, poets, playwrights, short-story writers, and writers of nonfiction from colonial America to today. Students, librarians and teachers will find a comprehensive overview of each author's biography and literary career as well as ready-reference listings of their major works in all genres.
Organization and Format
Each essay identifies the writer's major genres (e.g., "Novelist and poet") and provides information about birth and death dates and places. Chronological listings of the author's works by genre follow. The text of each essay is divided into several sections: "Achievements" sums up the author's reputation and literary honors, while "Biography" offers details about background and personal life. "Analysis" provides a comprehensive discussion of the writer's literary career in one or more major genres, with subsections for various works and themes. At the end of every essay is an up-to-date annotated bibliography that suggests secondary sources for further study.
The three volume set of 900 pages feature 80 essays ranging in length of 4 - 8 pages. Each essay contains between 2,000 - 8,000 words.
Finding Aids and Special Features
Four overview essays and several other appendices round out the set:
- African American Drama
- African American Long Fiction
- African American Poetry
- African American Short Fiction
- More African American Authors (additional writers, plus recommended readings)
- Bibliography (secondary sources on African American literature)
- Electronic Resources (subscription databases and websites
- Chronological List of Authors (arranged by birth year)
Finally, four indexes provide finding aids for a variety of categories:
- Genre Index (authors arranged by the genres in which they wrote)
- Personages Index (featured writers and other people discussed in the essays)
- Title Index (works discussed in the essays)
- Subject Index (comprehensive index of titles, names, and concepts)