Playing In The Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination

ISBN13: 9780679745426
Release Date: July 27th 1993
Published by: Vintage
Pages: 91

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Beloved and Jazz now gives us a learned, stylish, and immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that promises to change the way we read American literature even as it opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race.

Toni Morrison's brilliant discussions of the "Africanist" presence in the fiction of Poe, Melville, Cather, and Hemingway leads to a dramatic reappraisal of the essential characteristics of our literary tradition. She shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree--and that came to serve white authors as embodiments of their own fears and desires.

Written with the artistic vision that has earned Toni Morrison a pre-eminent place in modern letters, Playing in the Dark will be avidly read by Morrison admirers as well as by students, critics, and scholars of American literature.

"By going for the American literary jugular...she places her arguments...at the very heart of contemporary public conversation about what it is to be authentically and originally American. [She] boldly...reimagines and remaps the possibility of America."
--Chicago Tribune

"Toni Morrison is the closest thing the country has to a national writer."
The New York Times Book Review

More work like this

Audio Book: The Fire Next Time
James Baldwin, American writer
Interview about How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Book Conversation on May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem
Imani Perry, Kinohi Nishikawa
Conversations with Maya Angelou
Claudia Tate

Upcoming Events

Nell Painter—Old in Art School
Jun 21, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
i am my ancestors’ wildest dreams: contemporary cultures of black impossibility
Oct 18, 2018 - Oct 20, 2018
Ta-Nehisi Coates in Conversation with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Nov 28, 2018 @ 6:00 pm