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My Soul Has Grown Deep: Classics of Early African-American Literature [Paperback]

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Item description for My Soul Has Grown Deep: Classics of Early African-American Literature by John Edgar Wideman...

In this vital and inspiring volume, John Edgar Wideman has brought together the first truly representative sampling of literature by African-American writers in the early centuries of our history. Reaching across periods, styles, and regional borders, Wideman has selected twelve works of genius--some of them celebrated literary icons, others neglected or forgotten masterpieces-- and reprinted them in their entirety. The result is a book as thrilling in its passion as it is vast in scope.

Though these selections come from a range of genres (verse, memoir, historical, and personal narrative), they are all, fundamentally, stories of strength and survival. Frederick Douglass's frank narrative of escape from slavery and Paul Laurence Dunbar's classic verse take their place beside lesser-known works like Nat Love's stirring account of life as a black cowboy, Ida B. Wells's haunting descriptions of lynchings, and the crisp, compelling adventures of Olaudah Equiano. Wideman prefaces each selection with an illuminating biographical essay.

The fruit of a lifetime's devotion to the best American writing, My Soul Has Grown Deep will stand as an enduring monument to the depth and beauty of African-American literature.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: One World/Ballantine
Pages   1280
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 5.9" Height: 2.1"
Weight:   3.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2002
Publisher   One World/Ballantine
ISBN  0345455665  
ISBN13  9780345455666  

Availability  0 units.

More About John Edgar Wideman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! JOHN EDGAR WIDEMAN is the author of more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, including the award-winning Brothers and Keepers, Philadelphia Fire, and most recently the story collection God's Gym. He is the recipient of two PEN/ Faulkner Awards and has been nominated for the National Book Award. He teaches at Brown University.

John Edgar Wideman has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Homewood Trilogy
  2. Library of America

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( W ) > Wideman, John Edgar
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > African American > General
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > African American > Wideman, John Edgar
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > United States > General

Reviews - What do customers think about My Soul Has Grown Deep: Classics of Early African-American Literature?

Words that never Expire...History that inspires  May 25, 2005
True this book is heavy and could make you look like a geek reading it outside the comfort of your home but that is where any criticsm for this extra-ordinary literary compilation ends. The essays that were so assiduously deliberated over, are without a shadow of doubt some of the finest that could have come out of those times. Not some of the finest that a black writer of those times could deliver but the finest any thinker or writer could put together and strangely enough i still find the underlining messages very relevant in social issues that face ethnic minorities in the west. Having the unique opportunity read great texts with boigrahical info to preceed the text is just great.
I think most of all, probably because it was my first time of reading it, was the essay and indeed the short biographical introduction of Ida B Wells which just simply blew me away. I could go on and on but you need to get a copy and READ IT - definately a collectors item
Unbeatable Resource For Black History and Culture  Feb 19, 2004
It might take all your strength to balance this ten pound book on your chest while you read yourself to sleep, but if you can muster the energy you'll be repaid with some of the best black history available. This collection captures the upbeat hilarity of Nat Love's cowboy experiences, the bittersweet saga of Frederick Douglass's escape to freedom, the positive energy of Booker Washington's philosophy of "lifting up [his] race" and much more. The detail and poignancy of each writer's experience with slavery is the most powerful common element of the writings. It might be too bulky to keep in your purse or backpack, but it's a valuable reference to have in a good personal library.
An outstanding presentation  Dec 14, 2001
This thick literary compilation of early Afro-American literary classics should be in the collection of any serious library: My Soul Has Grown Deep draws from both famous and neglected works from colonial days, drawing on narratives, oratory, and verse to sample a strong cross-section of black American literature. The attention to a range of genres and experiences makes this an outstanding presentation.

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