A home elsewhere : reading African American classics in the age of Obama / Robert B. Stepto
- Stepto, Robert B.
- Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2010.
- Physical Description:
- 179 pages ; 22 cm.
- Frederick Douglass, Barack Obama, and the search for patrimony -- W.E.B. Du Bois, Barack Obama, and the search for race : school house blues -- Toni Morrison, Barack Obama, and difference -- A greyhound kind of mood -- Sharing the thunder : the literary exchanges of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Bibb, and Frederick Douglass -- Willard Savoy's Alien land : biracial identity in a novel of the 1940s -- Distrust of the reader in Afro-American narratives.
- "No single work was more important in the revolution in close reading that electrified African American literary studies in the nineteen eighties than was Robert Burns Stepto's From Behind the Veil, a work as deeply insightful as it was engagingly written. Stepto reminded us, after Keats, that one dives into the lake not merely or necessarily to swim to the other side, but to enjoy the dive. Let us hope, at the end of another era of reductive thematic (race, class, gender) criticism, that this marvelous book can once again play that salutary role in redirecting readers to the sheer splendors of close reading, reminding us of the pleasures of luxuriating in the language of African American texts." "Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University" "In this series of interlocking essays, which had their start as lectures inspired by the presidency of Barack Obama, Robert Burns Stepto sets canonical works of African American literature in conversation with Obama's Dreams from My Father. The elegant readings that result shed surprising light on unexamined angles of works ranging from Frederick Douglass's Narrative to W. E. B. Du Bois's Souls of Black Folk to Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon." "Stepto draws our attention to the concerns that recur in the books he takes up: how protagonists raise themselves, often without one or both parents; how black boys invent black manhood, often with no models before them; how protagonists seek and find a home else-where; and how they create personalities that can deal with the pain of abandonment. These are age-old themes in African American literature that, Stepto shows, gain a special poignancy and importance because our president has lived through these situations and circumstances and has written about them in a way that refreshes our understanding of the whole of African American literature." "Stepto amplifies these themes in four additional essays, which investigate Douglass's correspondence with Harriet Beecher Stowe; Willard Savoy's novel Alien Land and its interracial protagonist; the writer's understanding of the reader in African American literature; and Stepto's account of his own schoolhouse lessons, with their echoes of Douglass's and Obama's experiences."--BOOK JACKET.
- 9780674050969 (alk. paper)
0674050967 (alk. paper)
9780674036031 (alk. paper)
0674036034 (alk. paper)
- Series from jacket flap.
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
- Source of Acquisition:
- Abington copy: Purchased with funds from the Paterno Libraries Endowment; 2009.
Hazleton copy: Purchased with funds from the Paterno Libraries Endowment; 2009.
- Endowment Note:
- Paterno Libraries Endowment (Campus College Libraries)
View MARC record | catkey: 5818176