Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Encyclopedia of Literature: Houston A. Baker (Houston Alfred to Sally Beauman Biography

Houston A. Baker (Houston Alfred, Jr Baker) Biography

(1943– ), (Houston Alfred, Jr Baker)

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African-American critic, born in Louisville, Kentucky, educated at Howard University and UCLA; amongst other academic posts, he was appointed Professor of English at the University of Virginia. His considerable scholarly output has long established him as a major African-American literary authority and critic. The best known of his studies include Long Black Song: Essays in Black American Literature and Culture (1972), an analysis of black vernacularism and folklore from Frederick Douglass to Richard Wright; Singers of Daybreak: Studies in Black American Literature (1974), linked essays on the imaginative achievement of Paul Dunbar, Jean Toomer, Ralph Ellison, and George Cain; The Journey Back: Issues in Black Literature and Criticism (1980), a consideration of African-American ‘textuality’; Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature (1984), an overview of the poetics of America's black writing—blues, but also language, voice, and phrasing; Modernism and The Harlem Renaissance (1987), a reassessment of the creative variety and achievements of the 1920s black efflorescence signalled in Alain Locke's manifesto-anthology, The New Negro; and Workings of the Spirit (1991), a chronicle, in Alice Walker's term, of the ‘womanist’ expressivity of black women from Harriet Jacobs/Linda Brent through Zora Neale Hurston to Toni Morrison. Baker is also a published poet, notably in No Matter Where You Travel, You Still Be Black (1979) and Blues Journey, Home (1985), as well as a frequent editor and anthologist, and a contributor to eminent academic journals.

Nicholson Baker Biography - (1957– ), The Mezzanine, Room Temperature, U and I, tour de force. Vox, The Fermata [next]

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