ABSTRACT

Contemporary African American and Black British Women Writers: Narrative, Race, Ethics brings together British and American scholars to explore how, in texts by contemporary black women writers in the U. S. and Britain, formal narrative techniques express new understandings of race or stimulate ethical thinking about race in a reader. Taken together, the essays also demonstrate that black women writers from both sides of the Atlantic borrow formal structures and literary techniques from one another to describe the workings of structural racism in the daily lives of black subjects and to provoke readers to think anew about race. Narratology has only recently begun to use race as a category of narrative theory. This collection seeks both to show the ethical effects of narrative form on individual readers and to foster reconceptualizations of narrative theory that account for the workings of race within literature and culture.

chapter |12 pages

Introduction

Narrative Theory and Contemporary Black Women Writers
BySheldon George, Jean Wyatt

part Part 1|127 pages

African American Women Writers

chapter 1|18 pages

At the Crossroads of Form and Ideology

Disidentification in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen
ByCatherine Romagnolo

chapter 2|19 pages

“She Was Miraculously Neutral”

Feeling, Ethics and Metafiction in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah
ByJennifer Terry

chapter 3|17 pages

Disabling Racial Economies

Ableism and the Reproduction of Racial Difference in Nella Larsen’s Passing and Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif”
ByMilo Obourn

chapter 4|19 pages

“When We Speak of Otherness”

Narrative Unreliability and the Ethics of Othering in Toni Morrison’s Jazz and Home
ByHerman Beavers

chapter 5|16 pages

Learning to Listen in Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing

ByStephanie Li

chapter 6|18 pages

Maternal Sovereignty

Destruction and Survival in Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones
ByNaomi Morgenstern

chapter 7|18 pages

Narrating the Raced Subject

Toni Morrison’s Jazz and the Literature of Modernism
BySheldon George

part Part 2|131 pages

Black British Women Writers

chapter 8|18 pages

Swing Time

Zadie Smith’s Aesthetic of Active Ambivalence
ByDaphne Lamothe

chapter 9|17 pages

Zadie Smith’s Narratives of the Absurd

A Social Vision Represented through Humor
BySarah Ilott

chapter 10|18 pages

Buchi Emecheta

Storyteller, Sociologist and Citizen of the World
ByPamela S. Bromberg

chapter 12|18 pages

White Allyship and Narrative Dissonance in Andrea Levy’s Small Island

ByAgata Szczeszak-Brewer

chapter 13|21 pages

“Civis Romana Sum”

Bernardine Evaristo’s The Emperor’s Babe and the Emancipatory Poetics of (Multi-) Cultural Citizenship
ByDeirdre Osborne

chapter 14|18 pages

Reinventing the Gothic in Oyeyemi’s White Is for Witching

Maternal Ethics and Racial Politics
ByJean Wyatt