9780822313878

The Conjure Woman and Other Conjure Tales

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780822313878

  • ISBN10:

    0822313871

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1993-12-01
  • Publisher: Duke Univ Pr

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Supplemental Materials

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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
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Summary

The stories in The Conjure Woman were Charles W. Chesnutt's first great literary success, and since their initial publication in 1899 they have come to be seen as some of the most remarkable works of African American literature from the Emancipation through the Harlem Renaissance. Lesser known, though, is that the The Conjure Woman, as first published by Houghton Mifflin, was not wholly Chesnutt's creation but a work shaped and selected by his editors. This edition reassembles for the first time all of Chesnutt's work in the conjure tale genre, the entire imaginative feat of which the published Conjure Woman forms a part. It allows the reader to see how the original volume was created, how an African American author negotiated with the tastes of the dominant literary culture of the late nineteenth century, and how that culture both promoted and delimited his work.In the tradition of Uncle Remus, the conjure tale listens in on a poor black southerner, speaking strong dialect, as he recounts a local incident to a transplanted northerner for the northerner's enlightenment and edification. But in Chesnutt's hands the tradition is transformed. No longer a reactionary flight of nostalgia for the antebellum South, the stories in this book celebrate and at the same time question the folk culture they so pungently portray, and ultimately convey the pleasures and anxieties of a world in transition. Written in the late nineteenth century, a time of enormous growth and change for a country only recently reunited in peace, these stories act as the uneasy meeting ground for the culture of northern capitalism, professionalism, and Christianity and the underdeveloped southern economy, a kind of colonial Third World whose power is manifest in life charms, magic spells, and ha'nts, all embodied by the ruling figure of the conjure woman.Humorous, heart-breaking, lyrical, and wise, these stories make clear why the fiction of Charles W. Chesnutt has continued to captivate audiences for a century.Charles W. Chesnutt (1858- 1932) is the author of The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories (1899), The House Behind the Cedars (1900), The Marrow of Tradition (1901), and Colonel's Dream (1905).Richard H. Brodhead, Professor of English at Yale University, is the author of numerous books about nineteenth-century American Literature, including Cultures of Letters: Scenes of Reading and Writing in Nineteenth-Century America.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Chronology of Composition
A Note on the Text
Selected Bibliography
The Conjure Woman
The Goophered Grapevine
Po' Sandy
Mars Jeems's Nightmare
The Conjurer's Revenge
Sis' Becky's Pickaninny
The Gray Wolf's Ha'nt
Hot-Foot Hannibal
Related Tales
Dave's Neckliss
A Deep Sleeper
Lonesome Ben
The Dumb Witness
A Victim of Heredity
or, Why the Darkey Loves Chicken
Tobe's Tribulations
The Marked Tree
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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