13 Books Published by Ohio University Press on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about Love’s Long Line (21st Century Essays) by Sophfronia Scott Love’s Long Line (21st Century Essays)

by Sophfronia Scott
Mad Creek Books (Feb 11, 2018)
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Sophfronia Scott turns an unflinching eye on her life to deliver a poignant collection of essays ruminating on faith, motherhood, race, and the search for meaningful connection in an increasingly disconnected world.
In Love’s Long Line, Scott contemplates what her son taught her about grief after the shootings at his school, Sandy Hook Elementary; how a walk with Lena Horne became a remembrance of love for Scott’s illiterate and difficult steelworker father; the unexpected heartache of being a substitute school bus driver; and the satisfying fantasy of paying off a mortgage. Scott’s road is also a spiritual journey ignited by an exploration of her first name, the wonder of her physical being, and coming to understand why her soul must dance like Saturday Night Fever’s Tony Manero.
 
Inspired by Annie Dillard’s observation in Holy the Firm that we all “reel out love’s long line alone . . . like a live wire loosed in space to longing and grief everlasting,” Scott’s essays acknowledge the loneliness, longing, and grief exacted by a fearless engagement with the everyday world. But she shows that by holding the line, there is an abundance of joy and forgiveness and grace to be had as well.


Click for more detail about Tales of the Metric System: A Novel by Imraan Coovadia Tales of the Metric System: A Novel

by Imraan Coovadia
Ohio University Press (Apr 15, 2016)
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?On the borders there were new guerrilla armies. The rouble and the dollar had replaced the pound sterling. The kilometre and the kilogram and the litre were new ways of measuring miles and imperial pounds and fluid ounces. In Zaire, Patrice Lumumba had been murdered on the instruction of the White House.??The measurements made by Curzon College were as outdated as yards and inches. They didn’t know what counted.”

In Tales of the Metric System, Imraan Coovadia’s sere, direct sentences light a fire as he parses South Africa across the decades, from 1970 into the present. As Salman Rushdie used Indian independence in Midnight’s Children, Coovadia takes his homeland’s transition from imperial to metric measurements as his catalyst, holding South Africa up to the light and examining it from multiple perspectives. An elite white housewife married to a radical intellectual; a rock guitarist; the same guitarist’s granddaughter thirty years later; a teenaged boy at the mercy of mob justice???each story takes place over one of ten days across the decades, and each protagonist has his own stakes, her own moment in time, but each is equally caught in the eddies of change. Tales of the Metric System is clear eyed, harrowing, and formally daring.


Click for more detail about The Hairdresser of Harare: A Novel (Modern African Writing Series) by Tendai Huchu The Hairdresser of Harare: A Novel (Modern African Writing Series)

by Tendai Huchu
Ohio University Press (Aug 15, 2015)
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“Hairdresser was a perfect end of summer read; my book was sticky from sweat and sugary from bubbling peaches that went into the pies and preserves I was making – a delicious hair-salon-gossip kind of novel about minding, mending and maintaining social mores. It is a novel about hearbreak, but more seriously, it is also about the inevitable breaks that happen in one’s psyche, sometimes accompanied by injury to the physical body, when one’s community disciplines in order to reinforce its social and sexual expectations.” —Neelika Jayawardane Africa is a Country
 In this delicious and devastating first novel, which The Guardian named one of its ten best contemporary African books, Caine Prize finalist Tendai Huchu (The Maestro, the Magistrate, and the Mathematician) portrays the heart of contemporary Zimbabwean society with humor and grace.

Vimbai is the best hairdresser in Mrs. Khumalo’s salon, and she is secure in her status until the handsome, smooth-talking Dumisani shows up one day for work. Despite her resistance, the two become friends, and eventually, Vimbai becomes Dumisani’s landlady. He is as charming as he is deft with the scissors, and Vimbai finds that he means more and more to her. Yet, by novel’s end, the pair’s deepening friendship—used or embraced by Dumisani and Vimbai with different futures in mind—collapses in unexpected brutality.

The novel is an acute portrayal of a rapidly changing Zimbabwe. In addition to Vimbai and Dumisani’s personal development, the book shows us how social concerns shape the lives of everyday people.


Click for more detail about Mrs. Shaw: A Novel (Modern African Writing Series) by Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ Mrs. Shaw: A Novel (Modern African Writing Series)

by Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ
Ohio University Press (Jul 08, 2015)
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In the East African Kwatee Republic of the 1990s, the dictatorship is about to fall, and the nation’s exiles are preparing to return. One of these exiles, a young man named Kalumba, is a graduate student in the United States, where he encounters Mrs. Shaw, a professor emerita and former British settler who fled Kwatee’s postcolonial political and social turmoil. Kalumba’s girlfriend, too, is an exile: a Puerto Rican nationalist like her imprisoned father, she is an outcast from the island. Brought together by a history of violence and betrayals, all three are seeking a way of regaining their humanity, connecting with each other, and learning to make a life in a new land. Kalumba and Mrs. Shaw, in particular, are linked by a past rooted in colonial and postcolonial oppression, yet they are separated by their differing accounts of what really happened.

The memory of each is subject to certain lapses, whether selective or genuine. Even when they agree on the facts?be they acts of love, of betrayal, or of violence?each narrator shapes the story in his own way, by what is left in and what is left out, by what is remembered and what is forgotten.


Click for more detail about Thirteen Cents: A Novel (Modern African Writing Series) by K.  Sello Duiker Thirteen Cents: A Novel (Modern African Writing Series)

by K. Sello Duiker
Ohio University Press (Jun 04, 2013)
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Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

With an introduction by Shaun Viljoen

Every city has an unspoken side. Cape Town, between the picture postcard mountain and sea, has its own shadow: a place of dislocation and uncertainty, dependence and desperation, destruction and survival, gangsters, pimps, pedophiles, hunger, hope, and moments of happiness. Living in this shadow is Azure, a thirteen-year-old who makes his living on the streets, a black teenager sought out by white men, beholden to gang leaders but determined to create some measure of independence in this dangerous world. Thirteen Cents is an extraordinary and unsparing account of a coming of age in Cape Town.

Reminiscent of some of the greatest child narrators in literature, Azure’s voice will stay with the reader long after this short novel is finished. Based on personal experiences, Thirteen Cents is Duiker’s debut novel, originally published in 2000.

This first edition to be published outside South Africa includes an introduction by Shaun Viljoen and a special glossary of South African words and phrases from the text translated into English.


Click for more detail about The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar by Paul Laurence Dunbar The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Ohio University Press (Oct 15, 2009)
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At long last, critics, scholars, and lovers of fiction can experience the full range and imaginative powers of the collected novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906). In these four novels, readers can explore the characters, landscape, atmosphere, and visionary sensibilities of this preeminent African American writer.

In the prime of his literary career, between 1898 and 1902, Dunbar published The Uncalled, The Love of Landry, The Fanatics, and The Sport of the Gods. Despite widespread critical interest, the novels have been largely subordinated to his short stories and poetry. The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar redresses this imbalance by showing that the novels are also reflections of his exceptional literary talent. While correcting and standardizing the texts, the editors describe the major forms and themes of the novels, putting them in the proper contexts of Dunbar’s creativity, his professional career, and his place in American literary history. Each novel explores, in varying degrees, the issues of race, class, politics, region, morality, and spirituality and challenges the assumption that black novelists should cast only blacks as main characters and as messengers of racial-political unity.

The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar presents all four novels under one cover for the first time, allowing readers to assess why he was such a seminal influence on the twentieth century African American writers who followed him into the American canon. The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar will interest students, teachers, scholars, and general readers for generations to come.


Click for more detail about The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar by Paul Laurence Dunbar The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Ohio University Press (Oct 15, 2009)
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At long last, critics, scholars, and lovers of fiction can experience the full range and imaginative powers of the collected novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906). In these four novels, readers can explore the characters, landscape, atmosphere, and visionary sensibilities of this preeminent African American writer.

In the prime of his literary career, between 1898 and 1902, Dunbar published The Uncalled, The Love of Landry, The Fanatics, and The Sport of the Gods. Despite widespread critical interest, the novels have been largely subordinated to his short stories and poetry. The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar redresses this imbalance by showing that the novels are also reflections of his exceptional literary talent. While correcting and standardizing the texts, the editors describe the major forms and themes of the novels, putting them in the proper contexts of Dunbar’s creativity, his professional career, and his place in American literary history. Each novel explores, in varying degrees, the issues of race, class, politics, region, morality, and spirituality and challenges the assumption that black novelists should cast only blacks as main characters and as messengers of racial-political unity.

The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar presents all four novels under one cover for the first time, allowing readers to assess why he was such a seminal influence on the twentieth century African American writers who followed him into the American canon. The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar will interest students, teachers, scholars, and general readers for generations to come.


Click for more detail about Afro-Future Females: Black Writers Chart Science Fiction’s Newest New-Wave Trajectory by Marleen S Barr Afro-Future Females: Black Writers Chart Science Fiction’s Newest New-Wave Trajectory

by Marleen S Barr
Ohio University Press (May 08, 2008)
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Afro-Future Females: Black Writers Chart Science Fiction’s Newest New-Wave Trajectory,edited by Marleen S. Barr, is the first combined science fiction critical anthology and short story collection to focus upon black women via written and visual texts. The volume creates a dialogue with existing theories of Afro-Futurism in order to generate fresh ideas about how to apply race to science fiction studies in terms of gender. The contributors, including Hortense Spillers, Samuel R. Delany, Octavia E. Butler, and Steven Barnes, formulate a woman-centered Afro-Futurism by repositioning previously excluded fiction to redefine science fiction as a broader fantastic endeavor. They articulate a platform for scholars to mount a vigorous argument in favor of redefining science fiction to encompass varieties of fantastic writing and, therefore, to include a range of black women’s writing that would otherwise be excluded. Afro-Future Females builds upon Barr’s previous work in black science fiction and fills a gap in the literature. It is the first critical anthology to address the "blackness" of outer space fiction in terms of feminism, emphasizing that it is necessary to revise the very nature of a genre that has been constructed in such a way as to exclude its new black participants. Black science fiction writers alter genre conventions to change how we read and define science fiction itself. The work’s main point: black science fiction is the most exciting literature of the nascent twenty-first century.


Click for more detail about The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar by Paul Laurence Dunbar The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Ohio University Press (Feb 09, 2006)
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The son of former slaves, Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of the most prominent figures in American literature at the turn of the twentieth century. Thirty-three years old at the time of his death in 1906, he had published four novels, four collections of short stories, and fourteen books of poetry, as well as numerous songs, plays, and essays in newspapers and magazines around the world.

In the century following his death, Dunbar slipped into relative obscurity, remembered mainly for his dialect poetry or as a footnote to other more canonical figures of the period. The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar showcases his gifts as a writer of short fiction and provides key insights into the tensions and themes of Dunbar’s literary achievement. The 104 stories written by Dunbar between 1890 and 1905 reveal Dunbar’s attempts to maintain his artistic integrity while struggling with America’s racist stereotypes. Making them available for the first time in one convenient, comprehensive, and definitive volume, The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar illustrates the complexity of his literary life and legacy.


Click for more detail about Northern Stories Of Charles W. Chesnutt by Charles W. Chesnutt Northern Stories Of Charles W. Chesnutt

by Charles W. Chesnutt
Ohio University Press (May 10, 2004)
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Charles W. Chestnutt’s Northern writings describe the ways in which America was reshaping itself at the turn of the 19th century. This collection of Chestnutt’s Northern stories portray life in the North in the period between the Civil War and World War I.

Book Review

Click for more detail about In His Own Voice: Dramatic & Other Uncollected Works by Paul Laurence Dunbar In His Own Voice: Dramatic & Other Uncollected Works

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Ohio University Press (Apr 02, 2002)
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Paul Laurence Dunbar, introduced to the American public by William Dean Howells, was the first native-born African American poet to achieve national and international fame. While there have been many valuable editions of his works over time, gaps have developed when manuscripts were lost or access to uncollected works became difficult.

In His Own Voice brings together previously upublished and uncollected short stories, essays, and poems. This volume also establishes Dunbar’s reputation as a dramatist who mastered standard English conventions and used dialect in musical comedy for ironic effects.

In His Own Voice collects more than seventy-five works in six genres. Featured are the previously unpublished play Herrick and two one-act plays, largely ignored for a century, that demonstrate Dunbar’s subversion of the minstrel tradition. This generous expansion of the canon also includes a short story never before published.

Herbert Woodward Martin, renowned for his live portrayal of Dunbar, and Ronald Primeau provide a literary and historical context for this previously untreated material, firmly securing the reputation of an important American voice.


Click for more detail about Midland: Poems (Hollis Summers Poetry Prize) by Kwame Dawes Midland: Poems (Hollis Summers Poetry Prize)

by Kwame Dawes
Ohio University Press (Feb 14, 2001)
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The winning manuscript of the fourth annual Hollis Summers Poetry Prize is also the exciting American debut by a poet who has already established himself as an important international poetic voice. Midland, the seventh collection by Kwame Dawes, draws deeply on the poet’s travels and experiences in Africa, the Caribbean, England, and the American South. Marked equally by a lushness of imagery, an urgency of tone, and a muscular rhythm, Midland, in the words of the final judge, Eavan Boland, is “a powerful testament of the complexity, pain, and enrichment of inheritance. … It is a compelling meditation on what is given and taken away in the acts of generation and influence. Of a father’s example and his oppression. There are different places throughout the book. They come willfully in and out of the poems: Jamaica. London. Africa. America. But all the places become one place in the central theme and undersong here: which is displacement. … The achievement of this book is a beautifully crafted voice which follows the painful and vivid theme of homelessness in and out of the mysteries of loss and belonging.”

Midland is the work of a keen and transcendent intellect, a collection of poems that speaks to the landscape from inside, from an emotional and experiential place of risk and commitment.


Click for more detail about Sol Plaatje: Selected Writings by Solomon Plaatje Sol Plaatje: Selected Writings

by Solomon Plaatje
Ohio University Press (Jan 01, 1997)
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Sol Plaatje is one of South Africa’s most important political and literary figures. A pioneer in the history of the black press, he was one of the founders of the African National Congress, a leading spokesman for black opinion throughout his life, and the author of three well-known books: Mafeking Diary, Native Life in South Africa, and his historical novel, Mhudi. These books are not Plaatje’s only claim to fame. In the course of a prolific career he wrote letters to the press, newspaper articles and editorials, pamphlets, political speeches, evidence to government commissions of enquiry, unpublished autobiographical writings, and many personal letters. Together they provide both an engaging personal record and a very readable - and revealing - commentary on South African social and political affairs during the era of segregation, from 1899 through to Plaatje’s tragically early death in 1932. What he wrote has a unique historical importance, all the more meaningful from the perspective of the 1990s.




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