American Lives is a groundbreaking book, the first historically organized anthology of American autobiographical writing, bringing us fifty-five voices from throughout the nation's history, from Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Jonathan Edwards, and Richard Wright to Quaker preacher Elizabeth Ashbridge, con man Stephen Burroughs, and circus impresario P.T. Barnum. Representing canonical and non-canonical writers, slaves and slave-owners, generals and conscientious objectors, scientists, immigrants, and Native Americans, the pieces in this collection make up a rich gathering of American “songs of ourselves.”
Robert F. Sayre frames the selections with an overview of theory and criticism of autobiography and with commentary on the relation between history and many kinds of autobiographical texts—travel narratives, stories of captivity, diaries of sexual liberation, religious conversions, accounts of political disillusionment, and discoveries of ethnic identity. With each selection Sayre also includes an extensive headnote providing valuable critical and biographical information.
A scholarly and popular landmark, American Lives is a book for general readers and for teachers, students, and every American scholar.
Autobiographical Writing Across the Disciplines reveals the extraordinary breadth of the intellectual movement toward self-inclusive scholarship. Presenting exemplary works of criticism incorporating personal narratives, this volume brings together twenty-seven essays from scholars in literary studies and history, mathematics and medicine, philosophy, music, film, ethnic studies, law, education, anthropology, religion, and biology. Pioneers in the development of the hybrid genre of personal scholarship, the writers whose work is presented here challenge traditional modes of inquiry and ways of knowing. In assembling their work, editors Diane P. Freedman and Olivia Frey have provided a rich source of reasons for and models of autobiographical criticism.
The editors’ introduction presents a condensed history of academic writing, chronicles the origins of autobiographical criticism, and emphasizes the role of feminism in championing the value of personal narrative to disciplinary discourse. The essays are all explicitly informed by the identities of their authors, among whom are a feminist scientist, a Jewish filmmaker living in Germany, a potential carrier of Huntington’s disease, and a doctor pregnant while in medical school. Whether describing how being a professor of ethnic literature necessarily entails being an activist, how music and cooking are related, or how a theology is shaped by cultural identity, the contributors illuminate the relationship between their scholarly pursuits and personal lives and, in the process, expand the boundaries of their disciplines.
Kwame Anthony Appiah Ruth Behar Merrill Black David Bleich James Cone Brenda Daly Laura B. DeLind Carlos L. Dews Michael Dorris Diane P. Freedman Olivia Frey Peter Hamlin Laura Duhan Kaplan Perri Klass Muriel Lederman Deborah Lefkowitz Eunice Lipton Robert D. Marcus Donald Murray Seymour Papert Carla T. Peterson David Richman Sara Ruddick Julie Tharp Bonnie TuSmith Alex Wexler Naomi Weisstein Patricia Williams
"Pamuk is a writer who shares my reverence for the great art of the novel. He takes the novel seriously in a way that is perhaps no longer possible for Western writers, boldly describing it as European civilization’s greatest invention."—Michael McGaha
Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk is a prominent voice in Turkish literature, speaking to the country’s history, culture, and politics. In 2006, he became the first Turkish writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Autobiographies of Orhan Pamuk is the first book-length study of the life and writings of Pamuk. It provides both a historical and cultural context that will help readers better understand and appreciate both the man and his work. It begins with a brief biography, outlines Pamuk’s contributions to Turkish literature and history, examines how his art has evolved over the past thirty years, and discusses some of the writers who provided inspiration. Though his books deal with specifically Turkish issues, like all great literature the themes they explore are universal. In addition to a thorough analysis of his seven published novels, including Snow and My Name is Red, an entire chapter is devoted to his first two novels, Cevdet Bey and Sons and The Silent House, which have yet to be translated into English.
This is a comprehensive examination of the Nobel laureate’s work, free of jargon and of interest to anyone who enjoys good literature.
Growing up as a slave in an urban area of Missouri allowed William Wells Brown to live a life that was different from that of the plantation slave so often discussed in slave histories. Born in 1814, the son of a white man and a slave woman, Brown spent the first twenty years of his life mainly in St. Louis and the surrounding areas working as a house servant, a field hand, a tavern keeper’s assistant, a printer’s helper, an assistant in a medical office, and a handyman for James Walker, a Missouri slave trader. During his time with Walker, Brown made three trips up and down the Mississippi River. These trips allowed him to encounter slavery from every perspective and provided experiences he would draw on throughout his writing career.
In FromFugitive Slave to Free Man, two of Brown’s best-known writings, Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave. Written by Himself and My Southern Home: or, The South and Its People, are reprinted together with an expanded introduction by William L. Andrews. Brown’s Narrative, published in 1847, was his first autobiographical writing and was received with wide acclaim, going through four American and five British editions. Only Frederick Douglass’s autobiography sold better, casting a constant shadow over Brown’s works. Douglass and his life were touted as extraordinary, while Brown was referred to as the typical “every man’s slave.” However, the life of William Brown and his writings prove otherwise.
Determined to be a man of letters, Brown was the first African American to write a travel book, Three Years in Europe: or, Places I Have Seen and People I Have Met, which was based on his time abroad in Paris at an international peace conference and in England on an anti-slavery crusade. A year later he published Clotel, the first novel written by an African American and the first to exploit the decades-old rumors of an affair between President Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings. Between 1854 and 1867, Brown published the first drama by an African American, The Escape: or, A Leap for Freedom, and two volumes of black history, one of which is the first military history of the African American in the United States.
In 1880, Brown wrote his final autobiography, My Southern Home. In it he endeavors to explain the complex interrelationships between blacks and whites in the South. Taken together, both of the books included in this volume provide fascinating contrasts, especially in their depictions of slavery, and illustrate the creative innovations Brown developed in various forms of life writing—some of which were more experimental than Douglass’s and more prophetic of the future of African American literature.
What do the punk singer Henry Rollins, the Guatemalan writer Rodrigo Rey Rosa, the American authors Tobias Wolff, Tayari Jones, and George Saunders, the Canadian writer Sheila Heti, and the Russian poet Polina Barskova have in common? At some point they all studied the art of writing deeply with someone.
The nearly seventy short essays in A Manner of Being, by some of the best contemporary writers from around the world, pay homage to mentors—the writers, teachers, nannies, and sages—who enlighten, push, encourage, and sometimes hurt, fail, and limit their protégés. There are mentors encountered in the schoolhouse and on farms, in NYC and in MFA programs; mentors who show up exactly when needed, offering comfort, a steadying hand, a commiseration, a dose of tough love. This collection is rich with anecdotes from the heartfelt to the salacious, gems of writing advice, and guidance for how to live the writing life in a world that all too often doesn't care whether you write or not.
Each contribution is intimate and distinct—yet a common theme is that mentors model a manner of being.
Arthur Flowers on John O'Killens
James Franco on Harmony Korine
Mary Gaitskill on an Ann Arbor bookstore owner
Noy Holland and Sam Lipsyte on Gordon Lish
Tayari Jones on Ron Carlson
Henry Rollins on Hubert Selby Jr.
Rodrigo Rey Rosa on Paul Bowles
George Saunders on Douglas Unger and Tobias Wolff
Christine Schutt on Elizabeth Hardwick
Tobias Wolff on John L'Heureux
. . . and many more
Native American Autobiography is the first collection to bring together the major autobiographical narratives by Native American people from the earliest documents that exist to the present. The thirty narratives included here cover a range of tribes and cultural areas, over a span of more than 200 years.
From the earliest known written memoir—a 1768 narrative by the Reverend Samson Occom, a Mohegan, reproduced as a chapter here—to recent reminiscences by such prominent writers as N. Scott Momaday and Gerald Vizenor, the book covers a broad range of Native American experience. The sections include “Traditional Lives;” “The Christian Indians, from the Eighteenth Century to Indian Removal, 1830;” “The Resisting Indians, from Indian Removal to Wounded Knee, 1830-90;” “The Closed Frontier, 1890-;” “The Anthropologists' Indians, 1900-;” “‘Native American Renaissance,’ 1968-;” and “Traditional Lives Today.” Editor Arnold Krupat provides a general introduction, a historical introduction to each of the seven sections, extensive headnotes for each selection, and suggestions for further reading, making this an ideal resource for courses in American literature, history, anthropology, and Native American studies. General readers, too, will find a wealth of fascinating material in the life stories of these Native American men and women.
"This is the first comprehensive anthology of American Indian autobiography ever published. It will be of interest to virtually anyone teaching or studying the literatures of the native peoples of North America, as well as to a general audience, because of the informative, literate introductions and the absorbing narratives themselves."—William L. Andrews, series editor
In this thorough and detailed study, Richard Douglass-Chin examines collectively for the first time the autobiographies of nineteenth-century African American women evangelists, along with their eighteenth-century forerunner "Belinda." By studying how black women evangelists employed dialogue created by socioeconomic conditions, the author shows how their writings form the groundwork for a contemporary womanist literature rooted in spirituality. Arguing that the writings have their own unique figurations and forms that develop and alter over time, Douglass-Chin claims that the changing black female spiritual narrative traces an important line in the ongoing traditions of black women's writing, a line that has only now begun to be reclaimed and validated. Through references to the writings of black male autobiographers Frederick Douglass, Richard Allen, Daniel Payne, and John Jea as well as the works of white female autobiographers Harriet Livermore and Phoebe Palmer, Douglass-Chin is able to make valuable comparisons.
Preacher Woman Sings the Blues begins with the study of black evangelists Belinda, Jarena Lee, and Zilpha Elaw, continuing with Rebecca Cox Jackson, Sojourner Truth, Julia Foote, Amanda Smith, Elizabeth, and Virginia Broughton. The author's discussion of Zora Neale Hurston focuses on how Hurston operates as a connection between early black women evangelist writers and black women writing in America today. He ends with the works of Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, and Toni Cade Bambara.
By examining the early traditions prefiguring contemporary African American women's texts and the impact that race and gender have on them, Douglass-Chin shows how the nineteenth-century black women's works are still of utmost importance to many African American women writers today. Preacher Woman Sings the Blues makes a valuable contribution to literary criticism and theoretical analysis and will be welcomed by scholars and students alike.
Sometimes the crack of the bat or the roar of the crowd fails to capture the meaning of sports as athletes themselves understand it. Books about sports have ignored this dimension of the subject, particularly the athletes’ own autobiographical accounts. In Sporting Lives, the first book to examine the two popular realms of sports and autobiography, James Pipkin looks at recurring patterns found in athletes’ accounts of their lives and sporting experiences, examining language, metaphor, rhetorical strategies, and other elements to analyze sports from the inside out.
Sporting Lives takes a fresh look at memoirs from baseball, football, basketball, golf, and other sports to explore how American athletes see themselves: not only how those images mesh with popular perceptions of them as heroes or celebrities but also how their accounts differ from those of sports journalists and other outsiders. Drawing on the life stories of such well-known figures as Wilt Chamberlain, Babe Ruth, and Martina Navratilova—both as-told-to and self-authored works—Pipkin follows players from the “echoing green” of eternal youth to the sometimes cultlike and isolated status of fame, interpreting recurring patterns both in the living of their lives and in the telling of them. He even considers Dennis Rodman’s four autobiographies to show how the contradictions of his self-portrayals reflect the Janus-faced quality of sports in the era of celebrity culture.
As Pipkin shows, the life of the athlete involves more than mere athleticism; it is also a world of nostalgia and sentiment, missed opportunities and lost youth. He sheds light on athletes’ common obsession with youth and body image—including gender and racial considerations—and explores their descriptions of being “in a zone,” that transcendent state when everything seems to click. And he considers the time that all athletes dread, when their bodies begin to betray them . . . and the cheering stops.
While the lives of athletes may often suggest the magic of Peter Pan, Pipkin’s engaging study reveals that they are in many ways more like the Lost Boys. Sporting Lives shows that the meaning of sports is intertwined with the telling. It is both an eminently readable book for fans and a critically sophisticated analysis that will engage scholars of literature, sports or media studies, and American popular culture.
In these autobiographical essays by pioneers in the field of animal behavior, the authors discuss childhood, education, moments of discovery, and the attractions of the research that each pursued. The field of animal behavior has been interdisciplinary throughout its history, and the two psychologists and seventeen biologists in Donald Dewsbury's collection provide a fascinating assortment of backgrounds and interests. Chosen by a panel of seven distinguished animal behaviorists, the men whose essays are collected here include two Nobel Prize winners and one Pulitzer Prize winner. All provide unique accounts of the development of the field written by its original leading practitioners.
Telling Moments collects contemporary short stories by a diverse group of twenty-four lesbian writers. Engaging themes of life and death, aging, motherhood, race, love, work, and travel, the writers offer brief glimpses into lesbian lives.
The stories are by well-known contemporary writers—Gloria Anzaldúa, Mary Cappello, Emma Donoghue, Jewelle Gomez, Karla Jay, Anna Livia, Valerie Miner, Lesléa Newman, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Ruthann Robson, Sarah Schulman, and Jess Wells—and exciting newer voices, such as Donna Allegra and Marion Douglas. There are also stories from performance artists Carmelita Tropicana, Peggy Shaw, and Maya Chowdhry. Anna Livia’s protagonist appreciates her mother’s artful garden creation. Ruthann Robson tells of a survivor of the health care system. In Marion Douglas’s story a teenager dances with an alluring classmate. Donna Allegra’s strong construction worker copes with the death of her mother. And Karla Jay sets her character forth to swim with sharks. Most of the stories are accompanied by an author photo, biographical sketch, and—a most significant feature—a commentary from the author on her writing process and the autobiographical nature of her story, illustrating the truth behind the fiction.
Women who were sixty or older at the turn of the twenty-first century have lived through some of recent history’s most momentous moments—and yet these women often believe that their personal lives and stories are insignificant, not worthy of being recorded for future generations. To change that perception and capture some of these life stories before they are lost, the Story Circle Network, a national organization dedicated to helping women write about their lives, developed the Older Women’s Legacy (OWL) Circle Memoir Workshops. During the first two years of the project (1998–2000), nearly 500 older women participated in workshops that offered them the opportunity and encouragement to reflect on and create written records of their lives. With Courage and Common Sense presents an extensive selection of memoirs from the OWL Circle project. Organized thematically, they describe women’s experiences of identity, place, work, family life, love and marriage, loss and healing, adventures great and small, major historical events, and legacies to keep and pass along. Taken as a whole, the memoirs chronicle far-reaching changes in the ways that women participated in the world during the twentieth century. They show how women learned to surmount obstacles, to courageously make the most of the opportunities that came their way, and to move quietly and wisely beyond the limits that were imposed upon them.