"Paula Gunn Allen has been at the heart of a literary movement that has made Native American literature a part of the canon.... Voice of the Turtle is a collection of stories that will transform readers, offering an opportunity to understand the diverse literary traditions of American native peoples." --Clifford Trafzer
This landmark book is a founding work in the literature of black protest. W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963) played a key role in developing the strategy and program that dominated early 20th-century black protest in America. In this collection of essays, first published together in 1903, he eloquently affirms that it is beneath the dignity of a human being to beg for those rights that belong inherently to all mankind. He also charges that the strategy of accommodation to white supremacy advanced by Booker T. Washington, then the most influential black leader in America, would only serve to perpetuate black oppression.
Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner-City Funeral Home
Sheri Booker was only fifteen years old when she started working at Wylie Funeral Home in West Baltimore. She had no idea that her summer job would become nine years of immersion in a hidden world. Reeling from the death of her beloved great aunt, she found comfort in the funeral home, and soon has the run of the place, from its sacred chapels to the terrifying embalming room. This vibrant tour of a macabre world reveals an urban funeral culture where photo-screened memorial T-shirts often replace suits and ties and the dead are sent off with a joint or a fifth of cognac. Nine Years Under offers readers an unbelievable glimpse into an industry in the backdrop of all our lives.
The classic volume by the distinguished modern poet, winner of the 1950 Pulitzer Prize, and recipient of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, showcases an esteemed artist's technical mastery, her warm humanity, and her compassionate and illuminating response to a complex world.
The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood
An exceptional father-son story about the reality that tests us, the myths that sustain us, and the love that saves us.Paul Coates was an enigmatic god to his sons: a Vietnam vet who rolled with the Black Panthers, an old-school disciplinarian and new-age believer in free love, an autodidact who launched a publishing company in his basement dedicated to telling the true history of African civilization. Most of all, he was a wily tactician whose mission was to carry his sons across the shoals of inner-city adolescence—and through the collapsing civilization of Baltimore in the Age of Crack—and into the safe arms of Howard University, where he worked so his children could attend for free. Among his brood of seven, his main challenges were Ta-Nehisi, spacey and sensitive and almost comically miscalibrated for his environment, and Big Bill, charismatic and all-too-ready for the challenges of the streets.
Braided Lives: An Anthology of Multicultural American Writing
This magnificent collection gathers 160 tales from 80 tribal gathers to offer a rich and lively panorama of the Native American mythic heritage. From all across the continent come tales of creation and love, of heroes and war, of animals, tricksters, and the end of the world. Alfonso Ortiz, an eminent anthropologist, and Richard Erdoes, an artist and master storyteller, Indian voices in the best folkloric sources of the nineteenth century to make this the most comprehensive and authentic volume of American Indian myths available anywhere. With black-and-white drawings throughout. This book is part of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library.
A Lesson Before Dying, is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson's godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting—and defying—the expected. Ernest J. Gaines brings to this novel the same rich sense of place, the same deep understanding of the human psyche, and the same compassion for a people and their struggle that have informed his previous, highly praised works of fiction.
Talk That Talk: An Anthology of African-American Storytelling
A child of slaves, Harry Haywood became a pioneer theorist of Black Power and a leader of the communist movement in the thirties. Black Bolshevik is a dramatic and personal narrative of fifty years of the Black struggle and the American left, including first-hand accounts of the Chicago race riot of 1919, the defense of the Scotsboro Boys, organizing sharecroppers in the South, and the Spanish Civil War. Author of the classic 'Negro Liberation,' member of the Communist Party's Politburo and head of its Negro department in the thirties, Haywood was expelled as a dissident in the fifties. Amiri Baraka called this a 'powerful political journal... The sweep of history and event contained in this book will fascinate any serious reader.'
In Art on My Mind, bell hooks, a leading cultural critic, responds to the ongoing dialogues about producing, exhibiting, and criticizing art and aesthetics in an art world increasingly concerned with identity politics. Always concerned with the liberatory black struggle, hooks positions her writings on visual politics within the ever-present question of how art can be an empowering and revolutionary force within the black community.
Good Morning Revolution: Uncollected Writings of Social Protest
This collection of forty-seven stories written between 1919 and 1963—the most comprehensive available—showcases Langston Hughes's literary blossoming and the development of his personal and artistic concerns. Many of the stories assembled here have long been out of print, and others never before collected. These poignant, witty, angry, and deeply poetic stories demonstrate Hughes's uncanny gift for elucidating the most vexing questions of American race relations and human nature in general.
In one of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, Edward P. Jones, two-time National Book Award finalist, 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. In a daring and ambitious novel, Jones has woven a footnote of history into an epic that takes an unflinching look at slavery in all of its moral complexities. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
The Black Unicorn is a collection of poems by a woman who, Adrienne Rich writes, "for the complexity of her vision, for her moral courage and the catalytic passion of her language, has already become, for many, an indispensable poet."Rich continues: "Refusing to be circumscribed by any simple identity, Audre Lorde writes as a Black woman, a mother, a daughter, a Lesbian, a feminist, a visionary; poems of elemental wildness and healing, nightmare and lucidity. Her rhythms and accents have the timelessness of a poetry which extends beyond white Western politics, beyond the anger and wisdom of Black America, beyond the North American earth, to Abomey and the Dahomeyan Amazons. These are poems nourished in an oral tradition, which also blaze and pulse on the page, beneath the reader's eye."
Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter
Born in 1937 in a port city a thousand miles north of Shanghai, Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural upheaval. But wealth and position could not shield Adeline from a childhood of appalling emotional abuse at the hands of a cruel and manipulative Eurasian stepmother. Determined to survive through her enduring faith in family unity, Adeline struggled for independence as she moved from Hong Kong to England and eventually to the United States to become a physician and writer. A compelling, painful, and ultimately triumphant story of a girl's journey into adulthood, Adeline's story is a testament to the most basic of human needs: acceptance, love, and understanding. With a powerful voice that speaks of the harsh realities of growing up female in a family and society that kept girls in emotional chains, Falling Leaves is a work of heartfelt intimacy and a rare authentic portrait of twentieth-century China.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction. In the days before the Civil War, a runaway slave named Liz Spocott breaks free from her captors and escapes into the labyrinthine swamps of Maryland’s eastern shore, setting loose a drama of violence and hope among slave catchers, plantation owners, watermen, runaway slaves, and free blacks. Liz is near death, wracked by disturbing visions of the future, and armed with the Code,” a fiercely guarded cryptic means of communication for slaves on the run. Liz’s flight and her dreams of tomorrow will thrust all those near her toward a mysterious, redemptive fate. Filled with rich, true detailsmuch of the story is drawn from historical eventsand told in McBride’s signature lyrical style, Song Yet Sung is a story of tragic triumph, violent decisions, and unexpected kindness.
Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison’s spellbinding new novel is a Faulknerian symphony of passion and hatred, power and perversity, color and class that spans three generations of black women in a fading beach town. In life, Bill Cosey enjoyed the affections of many women, who would do almost anything to gain his favor. In death his hold on them may be even stronger. Wife, daughter, granddaughter, employee, mistress: As Morrison’s protagonists stake their furious claim on Cosey’s memory and estate, using everything from intrigue to outright violence, she creates a work that is shrewd, funny, erotic, and heart wrenching.
When Jasmine is suddenly widowed at seventeen, she seems fated to a life of quiet isolation in the small Indian village where she was born. But the force of Jasmine's desires propels her explosively into a larger, more dangerous, and ultimately more life-giving world. In just a few years, Jasmine becomes Jane Ripplemeyer, happily pregnant by a middle-aged Iowa banker and the adoptive mother of a Vietnamese refugee. Jasmine's metamorphosis, with its shocking upheavals and its slow evolutionary steps, illuminates the making of an American mind; but even more powerfully, her story depicts the shifting contours of an America being transformed by her and others like her — our new neighbors, friends, and lovers. In Jasmine, Bharati Mukherjee has created a heroine as exotic and unexpected as the many worlds in which she lives. "Rich…one of the most suggestive novels we have about what it is to become an American." — The New York Times Book Review
"The Merchant of Venice" is the story of Antonio, the drama's title character, and his friend Bassanio. Bassanio is in need of money so that he may woo Portia, a wealthy heiress. Bassanio asks Antonio for a loan and Antonio agrees to this loan, however all his money is tied up in shipping ventures. Together the two go to Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, to request a loan for Bassanio to be guaranteed against Antonio's shipping ventures. Shylock agrees to the loan at no interest in the condition that if the debt is not repaid Shylock may collect a pound of Antonio's flesh. At the same time Portia, who is being wooed by various suitors, is upset over a curious stipulation in her father's will regarding the man that she may marry.
Sholokhov's book introduces the reader to a New World that is not merely the Don Region, but the world of the author's inimitably poetic prose; giving fifteen years of his life to the creation of And Quiet Flows the Don. He began the first book at the age of twenty, in 1926. The last was finished in 1940. While Leo Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace (1863-69) immortalized the Napoleonic campaigns to the eve of the Decembrist revolt, And Quiet Flows the Don showed the destruction of the Cossacks and the birth of a new society.
This fictional outline of a modern Utopia has been a centre of controversy ever since its publication in 1948. Set in the United States, it pictures a society in which human problems are solved by a scientific technology of human conduct. FROM THE PREFACE: It is now widely recognised that great changes must be made in the American way of life. Not only can we not face the rest of the world while consuming and polluting as we do, we cannot for long face ourselves while acknowledging the violence and chaos in which we live. The choice is clear: either we do nothing and allow a miserable and probably catastrophic future to overtake us, or we use our knowledge about human behaviour to create a social environment in which we shall live productive and creative lives and do so without jeopardising the chances that those who follow us will be able to do the same. Something like a Walden Two would not be a bad start.
The 1987 Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. From August Wilson, author of The Piano Lesson and the 1984-85 Broadway season's best play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, is another powerful, stunning dramatic work that has won him numerous critical acclaim including the 1987 Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize. The protagonist of Fences (part of Wilson’s ten-part “Pittsburgh Cycle” plays), Troy Maxson, is a strong man, a hard man. He has had to be to survive. Troy Maxson has gone through life in an America where to be proud and black is to face pressures that could crush a man, body and soul. But the1950s are yielding to the new spirit of liberation in the 1960s... a spirit that is changing the world Troy Maxson has learned to deal with the only way he can...a spirit that is making him a stranger, angry and afraid, in a world he never knew and to a wife and son he understands less and less...
Richard Wright grew up in the woods of Mississippi amid poverty, hunger, fear, and hatred. He lied, stole, and raged at those around him; at six he was a "drunkard," hanging about in taverns. Surly, brutal, cold, suspicious, and self-pitying, he was surrounded on one side by whites who were either indifferent to him, pitying, or cruel, and on the other by blacks who resented anyone trying to rise above the common lot. Black Boy is Richard Wright's powerful account of his journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. It is at once an unashamed confession and a profound indictment—a poignant and disturbing record of social injustice and human suffering.