The first comprehensive collection of short fiction from the greater Harlem Renaissance era (1912-1940). a time marked by writing of extraordinary breadth and depth by some of the most famous writers in African American literary history. The editor has chosen 52 short story gems by the men and women of this important movement in American literature.
The "Greater Harlem Renaissance," as defined by Gable, stretched from 1912 to 1940. From within this broader than usual range of years, the editor has drawn 52 works of short fiction, beginning with a short story by Alice Dunbar-Nelson that appeared in The Crisis in 1914 and culminating with "Girl, Colored" by Marion Minus, which first appeared in 1940. By carefully arranging the works in chronological order with a short historical event list for each year, Gable attempts to show the range and progression of theme, style, subject, and social awareness throughout the period. While a few of the stories are by often-anthologized Harlem Renaissance writers (e.g., Toomer, McKay, Hughes, Hurston), most are not. Gable's purpose, which he explains in his excellent preface, is to offer a wide representation of male and female authors of short fiction during this period. A 20-page introduction by Darryl Dickson-Carr provides a thorough historical background for the works that follow. The works of fiction themselves are quite uneven in style, intensity, and impact. They present a mosaic of the African American experience of the time. Their tone is, for the most part, somber when it is not deeply depressed or smoldering with anger. Nothing here can be read lightly. Gable provides a surprising array of background sources to guide the reader. A short biography of each author is accompanied by an individual bibliography as well as a general bibliography of the period. There is also an extremely helpful chart that cross-tabs common issues, topic, and plots of all the stories. KLIATT Codes: SA*Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004,Indiana Univ. Press, 552p. notes., Ages 15 to adult.