Ghetto Images in Twentieth-Century American Literature: Writing Apartheid

Hardcover | January 15, 2012

byTyrone R. Simpson II, Tyrone R Simpson II

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In this comprehensive work, Tyrone R. Simpson, II, explores how six American writers - Anzia Yezierska, Michael Gold, Hubert Selby Jr., Chester Himes, Gloria Naylor, and John Edgar Wideman - have artistically responded to the racialization of U.S. frostbelt cities in the twentieth century. By using the critical tools of spatial theory, critical race theory, urban history, and urban sociology, Simpson accounts for how these writers imagine the subjective response to the race-making power of space.

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In this comprehensive work, Tyrone R. Simpson, II, explores how six American writers - Anzia Yezierska, Michael Gold, Hubert Selby Jr., Chester Himes, Gloria Naylor, and John Edgar Wideman - have artistically responded to the racialization of U.S. frostbelt cities in the twentieth century. By using the critical tools of spatial theory,...

Tyrone R. Simpson II is an assistant professor in the Department of English as well as in Urban Studies, Africana Studies, and American Culture at Vassar College.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:316 pages, 9.68 × 5.71 × 0.89 inPublished:January 15, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230115934

ISBN - 13:9780230115934

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Living for the City: Reading Twentieth Century Ghettoes in Postmodern Times * Chapter 1: "The Love of Colour in Me": Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers (1928) and the Space of White Racial Manufacture * Chapter 2: "To Make a Man Out of You: Masculine Fantasies and White Failure in Michael Gold’s Jews Without Money (1930)" * Chapter 3 "Jammed in Hemispherical Blackness": Looking Through Campy Transvestitism in Hubert Selby Jr.’s Last Exit to Brooklyn * Chapter 4: "‘Enough to Make a Body Riot’: Chester Himes, Melancholia, and the Postmodern Renovation" * Chapter 5 "In a World with No Address": Rescuing Ghetto Patriarchy in The Women of Brewster Place * Chapter 6: And the Arc of His Witness Explained Nothing: Black Flanerie and Traumatic Photorealism in Wideman's Two Cities * Conclusion: Beyond the Manichean Literary Ghetto?

Editorial Reviews

"Taking the ghetto as a race-making institution dependent on technologies of im/mobility, Tyrone Simpson offers a lucid analysis of the urban ecology of twentieth century U.S. fiction. Giving new meaning to the fine art of close reading, he approaches the spatial as a dense psychic territory, one that requires an interdisciplinary array of knowledges to adequately parse. This is a vibrant literary engagement with critical race theory." - Robyn Wiegman, Professor, Literature and Women's Studies, Duke University, author of American Anatomies: Theorizing Race and Gender and Object Lessons'Tyrone Simpson gives us a compelling portrait of the historic pain and hope seared into America's rust belt ghettos. Under Simpson's deft prose, a new voice to understanding these racialized spaces – the engaged writer – is powerfully revealed.' - David Wilson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign