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Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers


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Alphabetically arranged entries discuss the lives, works, and critical reception of more than 150 African American women writers.

Table of Contents

Preface List of Authors by Genre Chronological List of Authors Albert, Octavia Victoria Rogers Allen, Clarissa Minnie Thompson Allen, Sarah A. Anderson, Mignon Holland Angelou, Maya Ansa, Tina McElroy Austin, Doris Jean Baker, Nikki Bambara, Toni Cade Bennett, Gwendolyn Bonner, Marita Boyd, Candy Dawson Braxton, Joanne Brooks, Gwendolyn Brown, Linda Beatrice Burton, Annie Bush-Banks, Olivia Ward Butler, Octavia Caines, Jeannette Franklin Campbell, Bebe Moore Chase-Riboud, Barbara Childress, Alice Christian, Barbara T. Cleage, Pearl T. Cliff, Michelle Clifton, Lucille Coleman, Wanda Collier, Eugenia W. Collins, Kathleen Conwell Cooper, Anna Julia Hayward Cooper, J. California Cortez, Jayne Danner, Margaret Esse Danticat, Edwidge Davenport, Doris Davis, Angela Y. Delaney, Lucy Derricote, Toi(nette) Marie De Veaux, Alexis Dixon, Edwina Streeter Dove, Rita Drumgoold, Kate Du Bois, Shirley Graham Dunbar-Nelson, Alice Edwards-Yearwood, Grace Elaw, Zilpha Evans, Mari Fabio, Sarah Webster Fauset, Jessie Redmon Ferrell, Carolyn Fields, Julia Foote, Julia A. J. Gaines, Patrice Gibson, Patricia Joann Gilbert, Mercedes Giovanni, Nikki Golden, Marita Gomez, Jewelle Greenfield, Eloise Grimk, Angelina Weld Guy, Rosa Guy-Sheftall, Beverly Hackley, Madame Emma Azalia Smith Hamilton, Virginia Hansberry, Lorraine Hansen, Joyce Harper, Frances Ellen Watkins Harrison, Juanita Henderson-Holmes, Safiya Herron, Carolivia Hodges, Frenchy Jolene Hooks, Bell Hopkins, Pauline Elizabeth Hurston, Zora Neale Jackson, Angela Jackson, Elaine Jackson, Mae Jackson, Mattie Jane Jacobs, Harriet Ann Johnson, Amelia E. Johnson, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Helen Jones, Gayl Jordan, June Keckley, Elizabeth Hobbs Kennedy, Adrienne Kincaid, Jamaica Lane, Pinkie Gordon Larsen, Nella Lattany, Kristin Hunter Lee, Andrea Lee, Helen Elaine Lee, Jarena Lorde, Audra Geraldine Madgett, Naomi Long Marshall, Paule Mathis, Sharon Bell Matthews, Victoria Earle McElroy, Colleen J. McKissack, Patricia Meriwether, Louise Miller, May Millican, Arthenia J. Bates Monroe, Mary Moody, Anne Moore, Opal J. Morrison, Toni Mossell, Gertrude Bustill Mullen, Harryette Murphy, Beatrice Murray, Pauli Naylor, Gloria Neely, Barbara Oliver, Diane Osbey, Brenda Marie Parker, Pat Parks, Suzan-Lori Plato, Ann Porter, Connie Potter, Eliza Prince, Mary Prince, Nancy Rahman, Aishah Randall, Alice Ray, Henrietta Cordelia Rhodes, Jewell Parker Rodgers, Carolyn Marie Saloy, Mona Lisa Sanchez, Sonia Sanders, Dori Seacole, Mary Shaik, Fatima Shange, Ntozake Shockley, Ann Allen Smith, Amanda Berry Southerland, Ellease Stewart, Maria W. Summers, Barbara Tarry, Ellen Tate, Claudia Taylor, Mildred D. Taylor, Susie King Teasley, Lisa Terry, Lucy Thomas, Joyce Carol Thomas, Era Bell Tillman, Katherine Davis Chapman Todd, Ruth D. Vroman, Mary Elizabeth Wade-Gayles, Gloria Waniek, Marilyn Nelson Walker, Alice Walker, Margaret Walter, Mildred Pitts Wells-Barnett, Ida B. West, Dorothy Wheatley, Phyllis White, Paulette Childress Wilkinson, Brenda Williams, Fannie Barrier Williams, Sherley Anne Wilson, Harriet E. Wright, Sarah Elizabeth Youngblood, Shay Appendix: List of Author Awards General Bibliography Index About the Editor and the Contributors

About the Author

Yolanda Williams Page is Associate Professor of English, Theatre, and Mass Communications at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Prior to that position she worked at Dillard University, where she served as Assistant Dean of Humanities and was an associate professor of English.


"Greenwood's new 2-volume set covers over 150 African American women novelists, poets, essayists, dramatists, and literary critics in over 1,000 pages of text. Entries are in alphabetical order, and range from just a few pages for lesser-known writers to ten pages or so for more well-known personages such as Alice Walker or Toni Morrison. Each author entry contains subsections titled Biographical Narrative, Major Works, Critical Reception, and Bibliography (which in turn offers Works by and Studies of listings)....[t]his is a very good resource for users at many levels--straightforward enough to be used by undergraduates and even high school students, but detailed and deep enough to be useful to graduate and faculty researchers as well. Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers." - Choice
"Each A-to-Z entry, which spans 750 to 5000 words, profiles the writer, discusses major works, surveys critical reception, and includes a bibliography consisting of a list of the authors works and a list of studies of those works. The writers featured range from the established and popular to the overlooked or newly emerging and include Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Michelle Cliff, Edwidge Danticat, and Jamaica Kincaid. Appendixes contain a list of major literary awards, alphabetical and chronological lists of authors, and, at the works close, a selected general bibliography and an index. They also catalog authors according to their genrese.g., autobiography, drama, essay, fiction, poetry, cultural/literary theory, and children/YA. Other works treating this same subject are of a lesser status than Pages title, impressive for its critical and scholarly representation of a growing and important group. Fit for public, community college, and university libraries" - Library Journal
"To the busy scholar in literature today all encyclopedias are helpful in providing doorways to authors of all kinds. This one, however, is especially welcome because though it is not the first on the subject it is the fullest....The two volumes are a necessity on the shelves of all people interested in literature or black culture." - Journal of American Cultures
"This wide-ranging set provides both biographical and critical information in an accessible set. Covering the 18th through 21st centuries, it includes novelists, playwrights, poets, essayists, and authors of children's works. Each entry is individually penned and has a section on the life of the writer, her major works, critical responses to them, and a bibliography of both primary and secondary sources....[a] welcome addition for students and others interested in this gifted group." - School Library Journal
"Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers has entries on 168 African American (and some Caribbean) female authors who published works from 1746 to 2006. The coverage of literary genres is broad and makes this an important contribution to the field....The intended audience includes advanced high-school through undergraduate students as well as graduate students and researchers in the preliminary research stages. Many of the authors are well known (for example, Maya Angelou), while others are obscure writers (for example, Susie King Taylor) who the editor believes should be brought to the attention of students and scholars. A table of contents and two lists of authors, the first organized by genre and the second by date, precede the alphabetic entries. Each entry includes sections for Biographical Narrative, Major Works, Critical Reception, and Bibliography (subdivided into Works and Studies of Works)....[h]ighly recommended for public, high-school, and academic libraries." - Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin
"The range of authors represented in this encyclopedia is what ensures this work stands out, making it a significant contribution to the literature about African American writers. Aimed at advanced school level upward it would be a useful addition to school and public libraries." - Reference Reviews
"Useful and certain to excite interest, this reference contains entries on 168 writers of African-American descent writing in all forms, including autobiography, poetry, children's literature, and criticism. The entries, which are written to be accessible to the advanced high school student and higher, give a biography of the writer, describe the major works and their reception. Each entry concludes with an exhaustive bibliography of the writer's works and secondary sources. An appendix provides a full list of literary awards and their recipients, as well as a bibliography of further sources." - Reference & Research Book News
"Such a pivotal examination of a wide-raning list of African-American women writers is not lost on a more popular audience. Easy to navigate and written in layman's terms, each biographical entry is organized into five distinct sections: headnotes, biographical narrative, list of major works, critical reception, and a selected bibliography for further study... Suitable for high school students, college and university undergraduate and graduate students, and literary researchers, the two-volume work merits inclusion in both libraries and personal collections" - MultiCultural Review

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