This is an exploration of the relationship between autobiography and fiction in African-American writing. Smith argues that black writers - from the authors of 19th-century slave narratives to contemporary novelists - affirm and legitimize their psychological automomy by telling stories of their lives. Focusing on autobiographies by Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs and on the fiction of James Weldon Johnson, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison and Toni Morrison, Smith demonstrates the ways in which the act of narrating constitutes an act of self-fashioning that must be understood in the context of the African-American experience. Her investigation is attuned to the differences in male and female sensibilities and takes into account the importance of oral traditions.
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(210mm x 140mm x 9mm)
Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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