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In The African-American Grain by John E. Callahan. Urbana. 1988. University Of Illinois Press. hardcover. 281 pages.  Cover painting - ‘Untitled’ by Oliver Jackson, 1979. 0252014596.

 

 

0252014596FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   In the African-American Grain is a powerful exploration of the impact of African-American oral storytelling techniques on modern and contemporary fiction. Reading literature in the call-and-response tradition, John F. Callahan shows how African-American writers including Charles Chesnutt, Jean Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Ernest Gaines, and Alice Walker have used the forms and forces of this uniquely participatory discourse to establish not only a potential relationship between storyteller and audience but also a potential for change. In a new preface Callahan comments on how the tradition of call-and-response has continued to develop among African-American writers as well as writers of other backgrounds.

 

 

 

 

Callahan John E  "I worked for a good four plus years on Ellion's second novel and, with Mrs. Ellison's help and Random House's, came up with "Juneteenth." —John Callahan. John Callahan was a graduate student researching the writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald when a literary tangent led him along a different path. In the end, it was the work of writer Ralph Ellison, not Fitzgerald, that would leave a lifelong impression on Callahan. Ellison died in 1994, leaving behind 2,000 pages of unpublished writing, an expectation that there was a second novel coming and his widow, Fanny, who eventually asked Callahan to be the literary executor of Ellison’s work. From this archive of work that Ellison left—some of it on scraps of paper and napkins—came Ellison’s posthumous second novel, Juneteenth, and Three Days After the Shooting, both edited by Callahan, the latter novel with his former Lewis and Clark student, Adam Bradley. John Callahan is the Morgan S. Odell Professor of Humanities at Lewis and Clark College. Callahan’s own writing include In the African-American Grain, A Man You Could Love, and the upcoming The Learning Room.

 

 

 

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