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The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Reader

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A primer from one of America’s most esteemed and popular intellectuals

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 12, 2012 – Three decades of essays, introductions, op-eds, interviews, and other fugitive pieces by the multifaceted Gates (Harvard professor, producer, editor, belletrist, genealogist, filmmaker, cultural critic) are gathered in this diverse and often entertaining collection. Although sometimes marked by “arcane technicalities,” Gates (Colored People) enjoys signifying (loosely defined as “making a point by indirection and wit”), a mode of composition that allows the bookish and the personal to merge; Derrida can be invoked and Gates’s “own first public performance” at age four can be recalled in “The Master’s Pieces,” one of his seminal essays treating canon formation in literature. Gates’s range is broad: assaying the life of West Indians in London and “blackness in Brazil”; chatting with James Baldwin, Josephine Baker, Wole Soyinka, and Condoleezza Rice; exploring the DNA heritage of Bliss Broyard and Oprah Winfrey; assessing black theater along the “Chitlin Circuit”; and decoding 2 Live Crew. One of his enduring scholarly contributions is his recovery and assemblage of lost, buried, or scattered works by African-American writers. His introductions to Our Nig and The Bondswoman’s Narrative are particularly valuable, as are several critical essays treating issues of canonicity and the place therein of African-American literature that stimulated provocative intellectual chatter as the works of African-American writers entered the citadels of academia during the late 20th century.

Customer Reviews

Rich Reading

A wealth of contextual knowledge and wisdom. I thoroughly enjoyed it; especially the several previously undiscovered works.

The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Reader
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  • $20.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Essays
  • Published: May 01, 2012
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 656 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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