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Jim Crow, Literature, and the Legacy of Sutton E. Griggs


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About the Author

Tess Chakkalakal is an associate professor of Africana studies and English at Bowdoin College. She is the author of Novel Bondage: Slavery, Marriage, and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century America.

Kenneth W. Warren is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English at the University of Chicago. He is the author of What Was African American Literature?, So Black and Blue: Ralph Ellison and the Occasion of Criticism, and Black and White Strangers: Race and American Literary Realism.


This essay collection on the perennially underappreciated African American writer of five novels and numerous tracts reveals a Sutton Griggs that no single monograph has yet shown: not the definitive figure but a political chameleon, placed in a striking series of rigorously researched historical contexts, from the border culture of Texas, where he lived, to the emerging race-citizenship complex of the United States as an imperial nation. The Jim Crow era itself emerges throughout the essays as more of a paradox than we've known, both the nadir of African American history and the heyday of the race novel, if not of African American literature as a whole.

--Susan Gillman "author of Blood Talk: American Race Melodrama and the Culture of the Occult "

This rich and remarkably diverse collection of new scholarship on Sutton E. Griggs restores to view an important literary voice, at once analytically sharp and imaginatively daring, in the battle against Jim Crow.

--Eric J. Sundquist "Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities, Johns Hopkins University "

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