Synopses & Reviews
Anyone who has seen a horror film or read a Stephen King novel is familiar with gothic tropes: dark villains who never tire of chasing hapless maidens; supernatural monsters; heroes who are sometimes weak; twisted, yet uncannily familiar, landscapes; the list goes on. Yet the gothic is more than a long list of tropes deployed to terrify. African American Gothic
reveals the myriad ways African American writers manipulate the gothic genre to critique traditional racial ideologies. The book investigates fiction from each major era in African American culture, including Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
, Of One Blood
, Invisible Man
, and Corregidora
, to show how the gothic—when revised—serves as a useful vehicle for the enunciation of the peculiar terrors and complexities of black existence in America.
African American Gothic: Screams from Shadowed Places is a new study of African American literary interventions into the gothic genre. The book investigates how African American authors have utilized the genre since its very beginnings in America to represent the real horrors of Black life in country haunted by racism. Re-reading major African American literary texts—such as Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Of One Blood, Cane, Invisible Man, and Corregidora—African American Gothic investigates texts from each major era in African American Culture to show how the gothic has consistently circulated throughout the African American literary canon.
About the Author
Maisha L. Wester is an assistant professor of English and American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University.
Table of Contents
PART I: EARLY EXPRESSIONS OF BLACK GOTHIC
Haunted Lands and Gothic Voices: Slave Narrative Re-writings of Gothic Motifs
Babo Speaks Back: White Violence, Black Resistance in Nineteenth Century Black Fiction
'The Dark Sunshine Aboveground': Questions of Progress and Migration in Ellison and Toomer
PART II: BLACK GOTHIC AT MILLENIUM'S END
'What, after all, am I': The Terrors of (Collective) Identity
'Murdered By Piece-meal': The Destruction of African American Family in Beloved
The Lost Voices of Tims Creek: Narrative Re-inscription in A Visitation of Spirits and 'Let the Dead Bury Their Dead'