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Gayl Jones (Gayl Amanda Jones) Biography

(1949– ), (Gayl Amanda Jones), Corregidora, Eva's Man, White Rat, Song for Anninho

African-American novelist and poet, born in Lexington, Kentucky, educated at Connecticut College and Brown University; she later taught at the University of Michigan. Her disturbing first novel, Corregidora (1975), like her subsequent fictions Eva's Man (1976) and the short-story collection White Rat (1977), explores the psychology and sexual identity of her characters, often women doubly oppressed by racism and sexism, who are caught up in emotionally violent relationships. The language used is at times correspondingly raw and is rooted in the traditions of black speech and music patterns. Her writing also has a ritualistic and historical aspect that reflects her study of the African presence in Brazil and Mexico in past centuries, which is particularly evident in her poetry such as Song for Anninho (1981), an extended ballad about an eighteenth-century slave revolt in Brazil, and Xarque and Other Poems (1985). She is the author of the critical work Liberating Voices: Oral Tradition in African American Literature (1991). See also ethnicity.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Tama Janowitz Biography to P(atrick) J(oseph Gregory) Kavanagh Biography