The State of Things
10:51 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Abandoning The Black Hero

A panel of writers and scholars discuss the white life novel.
The film adaptation of Frank Yerby's 1946 best-selling novel, The Foxes of Harrow.
Credit wikipedia.org

African-American literary authors like James Baldwin or Zora Neale Hurston are famous for their depictions of black life. But these novelists have also written books with white protagonists. Why is this unexpected? Is there a mandate that black authors write only about black characters?

Host Frank Stasio is joined by a panel of writers and scholars to discuss the white life novel.  John Charles is assistant professor of English and Africana studies at North Carolina State University and author of "Abandoning the Black Hero: Sympathy and Privacy in the Postwar African American White-Life Novel" (Rutgers University Press/ 2012); Samuel Delany is the author of  "Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders" (Magnus Books/ 2012); Jennifer Ho is associate professor of English and comparative literature at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of "Consumption and Identity in Asian American Coming-of-Age Novels" (Routledge Pres/ 2005).

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