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The book explores the written representation of African-American oral storytelling from Charles Chesnutt, Zora Neale Hurston and Ralph Ellison to James Alan McPherson, Toni Cade Bambara and John Edgar Wideman. At its core, the book compares the relationship of the "frame tale" - an inside-the-text storyteller telling a tale to an inside-the-text listener - with the relationship between the outside-the-text writer and reader. The progression is from Chesnutt's 1899 frame texts, in which the black spoken voice is contained by a white narrator/listener, to Bambara's sixties-era example of a "frameless" spoken voice text, to Wideman's neo-frame text of the late 20th century.
African American storytelling, African American literature, African American fiction, literary criticism, cultural theory, African American authors, Charles Chesnutt, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, James Alan McPherson, Toni Cade Bambara, John Edgar Wideman
School of Arts and Sciences
African American Studies | American Literature | Fiction | Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority | Modern Literature
Ashe, Bertram D. From Within the Frame: Storytelling in African-American Fiction. New York: Routledge, 2002.