A Spy in the Enemy's Country: The Emergence of Modern Black Literature
by Donald A. Petesch
University of Iowa Press, 1991
Paper: 978-0-87745-322-2 | eISBN: 978-1-58729-185-2


This dynamic study provides a rich intellectual and historical background for understanding the works of black American writers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Beginning with a look at early slave narratives, Donald Petesch examines how these writings reflect the conditions imposed upon their authors and goes on to explore the shifting and often contradictory black/white consciousness that was emerging in the twentieth century. Moving into the Harlem Renaissance, Petesch considers the implications of the historical and social contexts for a number of black authors.

This closely focused look at a group of writers who represent both the emergence of modern black literature and the Harlem Renaissance, coupled with the keen examination of the historical and social conditions that shaped them, will be valuable reading for all students of black literature and history, intellectual history, and popular culture.

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