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The Scribner Writers Series has set the standard for literary reference for more than 25 years. In addition to addressing the lives and careers of important writers, the articles discuss the themes and styles of major works and place them in pertinent historical, social and political contexts for today's readers. Novelists, playwrights, essayists, poets, short story writers, and more recently, genre writers in science fiction and mystery, are all expertly discussed in the more than 16 sets comprising this series. Thirty-four articles from the acclaimed set have been updated, and 20 new writers who came to prominence since the mid-1980s have been added, expanding this original single-volume publication into two comprehensive volumes. Designed expressly with high school students in mind, the A-to-Z articles are clearly written and accompanied by photos of the authors.
The most complete record of the literary achievement of black American women, this bibliography documents the works of and works about 900 writers from Theresa Williams Abram to Sister Zubena. Chronologically spanning the output from Lucy Terry's poem of 1746 to best sellers and obscure publications of 1991, it includes such stellar figures as Phillis Wheatley, Frances E. W. Harper, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lorraine Hansberry, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Terry McMillan. Considerable effort has been made to seek out products of small presses and unindexed periodicals. The thousands of primary sources are complemented by thousands of secondary sources. These appear directly with each author's entry, with cross references to separate sections for General Works and Anthologies. A comprehensive author index brings together primary and secondary sources.
Peterson has done a great service to students of African-American theater. . . . Peterson's scholarship is impressive; the book's format is inviting . . . an indispensable reference book for academic libraries. Choice This reference volume addresses an often overlooked area in the history of the American theatre, the contributions of early black playwrights and dramatic writers. At a time when they were denied full participation in many aspects of American life, including the mainstream of the theatre itself, black artists were compiling an impressive record of achievement on the American stage. This book, the most comprehensive on the subject, provides a complete look at these achievements by offering biographical information and a catalog of works for approximately 200 writers, including playwrights, librettists, screenwriters, and radio scriptwriters. From the emergence of black playwrights in the time prior to the Civil War, to the early days of film and radio in this century, the efforts of early black writers are fully documented in this work. The book begins with an author's preface and is followed by an introductory essay that discusses the development of black American playwrights from the antebellum period to World War II. The heart of the book, the biographical directory, is organized alphabetically, with each entry providing highlights of the author's life and career; collected anthologies that include any works; and an annotated chronological list of individual dramatic works, including genre, length, synopses, production history, prizes and awards, and script sources. Three appendixes offer information on other playwrights and their works, additional librettists and descriptions of their shows, and a chronology of dramatic works by genre. A bibliography cites such information sources as reference books and critical studies, dissertations, play anthologies, and newspapers and periodicals frequently consulted, as well as significant libraries and repositories. The book concludes with title and general indexes and an index to early black theatre organizations. This work will be an important reference source for courses in black American drama and theatre history, and a valuable addition to both public and academic libraries.
Here indeed is the pantheon of African American writers--Phillis Wheatley and Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. Du Bois, Gwendolyn Brooks and Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen, James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, John EdgarWideman and August Wilson, Jamaica Kincaid and Gloria Naylor, Stanley Crouch and Cornel West, and hundreds more. Moreover, the Companion includes entries on 150 major works of African American literature (including synopses of novels), from Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,Richard Wright's Native Son, to Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun; on literary characters, ranging from Bigger Thomas, to Coffin Ed Johnson, Kunta Kinte, Sula Peace; on character types, such as Aunt Jemima, Brer Rabbit, John Henry, Stackolee, and the trickster; and on such icons of blackculture as Muhammad Ali, John Coltrane, Marcus Garvey, Jackie Robinson, John Brown, and Harriet Tubman. Here, too, are general articles on the traditional literary genres, such as poetry, fiction, and drama; on genres of special import in African American letters, such as autobiography, slavenarratives, Sunday School literature, and oratory; and on a wide spectrum of related topics, including journalism, the black periodical press, major libraries and research centers, religion, literary societies, women's clubs, and various publishing enterprises.