How to read African American literature : post-Civil Rights fiction and the task of interpretation / Aida Levy-Hussen.

Author
Levy-Hussen, Aida, 1981- [Browse]
Format
Book
Language
English
Published/​Created
New York : New York University Press, [2016]
Description
1 online resource

Details

Subject(s)
Summary note
"How to Read African American Literature offers a series of provocations to unsettle the predominant assumptions readers make when encountering post-Civil Rights black fiction. Foregrounding the large body of literature and criticism that grapples with legacies of the slave past, Aida Levy-Hussen's argument develops on two levels: as a textual analysis of black historical fiction, and as a critical examination of the reading practices that characterize the scholarship of our time. Drawing on psychoanalysis, memory studies, and feminist and queer theory, Levy-Hussen examines how works by Toni Morrison, David Bradley, Octavia Butler, Charles Johnson, and others represent and mediate social injury and collective grief. In the criticism that surrounds these novels, she identifies two major interpretive approaches: "therapeutic reading" (premised on the assurance that literary confrontations with historical trauma will enable psychic healing in the present), and "prohibitive reading" (anchored in the belief that fictions of returning to the past are dangerous and to be avoided). Levy-Hussen argues that these norms have become overly restrictive, standing in the way of a more supple method of interpretation that recognizes and attends to the indirect, unexpected, inconsistent, and opaque workings of historical fantasy and desire. Moving beyond the question of whether literature must heal or abandon historical wounds, Levy-Hussen proposes new ways to read African American literature now" -- From the publisher.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Source of description
Print version record.
ISBN
  • 9781479834778 ((electronic bk.))
  • 1479834777 ((electronic bk.))
OCLC
962306046
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