Gayl Jones

The Language of Voice and Freedom in Her Writings


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About the Book

Gayl Jones is dedicated to the art of “verbal authenticity,” stemming from her identification with her African American heritage. Amid widespread critical praise as well as pointed attacks for her controversial first two novels, Jones has shown a constantly evolving cultural consciousness.
This first single-author study of Gayl Jones recovers the work of an under-examined yet immensely skillful contemporary writer. It offers a thorough examination of her technical innovations as well as her willingness to explore controversial subject matter.
The book addresses such crucial themes as Afrocentrism, diasporas, mythopoesis, post-colonialism and globalization, and offers close readings of the aesthetic and political interchanges within Jones’s fiction, drama, poetry, and criticism. Two interviews with Gayl Jones are included.

About the Author(s)

Casey Clabough is an associate professor of English at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia. He serves as the literature editor for the Encyclopedia Virginia, a project of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. He lives in Appomattox.

Bibliographic Details

Casey Clabough
Foreword by Daniel Cross Turner
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3379-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Abbreviations      ix
Foreword by Daniel Cross Turner      1
Introduction: Liberating Voice      3

1. “Toward an All-Inclusive Structure”: Early Fiction      15
2. Speaking the Grotesque: Short Fiction      47
3. Toward Feminine Mythopoetic Visions: Poetry      73
4. Afrocentric Recolonizations: 1990s Fiction      93
5. A Quest for Wholeness: Criticism      121

Conclusion: Liberated Voice      133
Appendix I: An Interview with Gayl Jones, by Claudia C. Tate      139
Appendix II: An Interview with Gayl Jones, by Charles H. Rowell      157
Annotated Bibliography and List of General Works Cited      181
Index      203