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5 Reasons Gayl Jones’ Eva’s Man is an Important Novel to Read

[By Will Cunningham]

Gayl Jones’s Eva’s Man should be on more syllabi. I have found the novel to be not only the lesser
read of Jones’s work, but also a seldom-taught text within Academia. Eva’s Man is chock full of material
begging for analysis – material that also calls for intense introspection from
its readers. If a syllabi brought you to this post, then good on your
professor. But if you are just looking for a new book to read, then check out
this list. I hope you are convinced to go buy or rent a copy!

5 Reasons Gayl Jones’ Eva’s
Man
is an Important Novel to Read:
1) Eva’s Man was
written during a watershed moment for Black writers, women writers, and the
Academy at large. This book comes alongside the work of Toni Morrison, Toni
Cade Bambara, Alice Walker, and others as seminal pieces in the development,
production, and push of African American Literature into mainstream Academia.
2) Eva’s Man provides
critical commentary on Black women’s sexuality and Black Feminism.
3) Eva’s Man connects
an ideologue of femininity to mythological origins. It engages multiple fields
of study and draws on a broad array of erratic figures.
4) Eva’s Man serves
as a useful medium to dialogue about the industrial prison complex and institutionalized
racism.
5) Eva’s Man is
challenging to read both in its content and style. It engages an innovative
narrative style with the always elusive problem of memory.
Just to be fair, here is a little warning: this text is
quite graphic in its display or sexual violence. As you should with every book,
read with an open mind even in the face of shocking imagery.

One thought on “5 Reasons Gayl Jones’ Eva’s Man is an Important Novel to Read

  1. Beautifully counter-phallic! A wonderful counterpoint to Native Son. I plan to use both this fall in a course on hip hop's literary ancestors.

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