Black Speculative Fiction and Octavia Butler

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[By Crystal Boson]              Octavia Butler’s 1979 novel, Kindred is a skillful combination of several literary genres; it serves as a superb entre into the realm of Black Speculative Fiction and functions as a postmodern, inverse slave narrative.   Her characters’ 20th century experiencing of slavery places the work within the long tradition of slaves narratives, where individuals speak to their own […]

Remixing Literary History With Paul Beatty

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[By Crystal Boson] Paul Beatty’s White Boy Shuffle often serves as a poignant satire about the modern role of the cultural mulatto and the destination of the search for communal bonding and self-identification. The novel blends elements of literary theory’s latest darling, postmodern theory, cultural displacement, alternative African American religion, and popular culture. An initial focus on the power of basketball as a social lubricant […]

Post-modernism and Ishmael Reed

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[By Crystal Boson] Utilizing a database of 100 novels reveals useful ways of considering the importance of literary postmodernism in African American literature. Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo can be considered to be Black Postmodernism’s torchbearer. It provides the reader with a highly complex narrative that blends genre and theme. Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo blends elements of the classic detective novel with African American Folklore, iconography, […]