James Baldwin and Toni Morrison: Comparative Critical and Theoretical Essays

Paperback | October 15, 2009

EditorLovalerie King, Lynn Orilla Scott

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This collection of comparative critical and theoretical essays examines the reciprocal literary relationship between James Baldwin and Toni Morrison on topics ranging from their use of jazz and the blues, to their critiques of whiteness and their brilliant analyses of America's racial politics. In particular, the essays note those points of convergence and divergence between the two authors and also point to instances where one author signifies on the work of the other or takes up and expands a discussion where the other left off. Contributors range from well-established senior scholars, Trudier Harris and E. Frances White, to emerging international scholars, Anna Kerchy and Keren Omry.

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This collection of comparative critical and theoretical essays examines the reciprocal literary relationship between James Baldwin and Toni Morrison on topics ranging from their use of jazz and the blues, to their critiques of whiteness and their brilliant analyses of America's racial politics. In particular, the essays note those poin...

Lovalerie King is Associate Professor of African American Language and Literature, Affiliate Faculty in Women’s Studies, and Director of the Africana Research Center at Penn State-University Park. She is the author of Race, Theft, and Ethics: Property Matters in African American Literature and The Cambridge Introduction to Zora Neale ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.64 × 5.11 × 0.73 inPublished:October 15, 2009Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023061972X

ISBN - 13:9780230619722

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Table of Contents

Introduction--Lovalerie King * Baldwin's Bop n'Morrison's Mood: Bebop and Race in James Baldwin's Another Country and Toni Morrison's Jazz--Keren Omry * Narrating the Beat of the Heart, Jazzing the Text of Desire: A Comparative Interface of James Baldwin's Another Country and Toni Morrison's Jazz--Anna Kérchy * Revising Revision: Methodologies of Love, Desire, and
Resistance in Beloved and If Beale Street Could Talk--Michelle Phillips * Revising the Incest Story: Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye and James Baldwin's Just Above My Head--Lynn Orilla Scott * Watchers Watching Watchers: Positioning Characters and Readers in Baldwin's 'Sonny's Blues' and Morrison's 'Recitatif'--Trudier Harris * Playing a Mean Guitar: The Legacy of Staggerlee in Baldwin and Morrison--Quentin Miller * Refiguring the Flesh: The Word, The Body and The Rituals of Being in Beloved and Go Tell It On The Mountain--Carol Evette Henderson * Resistance against Racial, Sexual, and Social Oppression in Go Tell It on the Mountain and Beloved--Babacar M'Baye * Secular Word, Sacred Flesh: Preachers in the Fiction of Baldwin and Morrison--Keith Byerman * Unseen or Unspeakable?Racial Evidence in Baldwin's and Morrison's Non-fiction--Richard Schur * The Art of Whiteness in the Non-Fiction of James Baldwin and Toni Morrison--Jon Mirin * The Evidence of Things Not Seen: The Alchemy of Race and Sexuality-- E. Frances White * Femininity, Abjection and (Black) Masculinity in James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room and Toni Morrison's Beloved--Keith B. Mitchell  

Editorial Reviews

"The relations among/between artists and writers are extremely important for any full understanding of the process of culture. King and Scott set out to explore in considerable depth one of the most fascinating and understudied connections in African American literature, that between James Baldwin and Toni Morrison. This collection is useful and necessary."--Joseph T. Skerrett, Jr., Director of American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst "James Baldwin and Toni Morrison is a most welcome examination of the  connections between two of the most significant authors of the 20th century. The original and often provocative essays contained here shed new light not only on these two great writers but on the cultural and aesthetic fellowship that underlies African-American literature."--David Leeming, author of James Baldwin: A Biography (1994) and secretary/assistant to Baldwin (l964-67) "This new collection maps out and explores the literary relationship between Baldwin and Morrison and sheds new light on each. It also opens up new avenues of discussion on the themes of race, religion, gender and sexuality more generally in African-American culture. This is a useful contribution to Baldwin and Morrison studies and African-American literature more broadly."--Dr. Douglas Field, Lecturer in Contemporary Literature and Culture, Staffordshire University  "This collection of diverse essays offers a long over-due exploration of rich thematic connections, narrative consonances, theoretical crosscurrents, and ideological contentions in the two writers who have redefined twentieth-century American letters. It reaffirms the brilliance of Morrison's works while illuminating her indebtedness to Baldwin, and teases out the lessons that she taught him as a black woman writer. Its insights into Baldwin's neglected later works help us to see anew the complex artistic trajectory that has led him to become our black queer ancestor and witness."--Magdalena J. Zaborowska, University of Michigan