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African American Authors

African American Authors Book List

Cover of 'The Gospel According to James and Other Plays'

The Gospel According to James and Other Plays
By Charles R. Smith

This first-ever collection of five award-winning plays by Charles Smith, one of the nation’s leading African American playwrights, is a journey down the complex road of race and history.

Cover of 'The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar'

The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar
By Paul Laurence Dunbar
· Edited by Herbert Woodward Martin, Ronald Primeau, and Gene Andrew Jarrett

Presents four Dunbar 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.

An ALA “Best of the Best” Book
Cover of 'The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar'

The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar
By Paul Laurence Dunbar
· Edited by Thomas Lewis Morgan and Gene Andrew Jarrett
· Foreword by Shelley Fisher Fishkin

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.

Cover of 'The  Absent Man'

The Absent Man
The Narrative Craft of Charles W. Chesnutt
By Charles Duncan

As the first African-American fiction writer to achieve a national reputation, Ohio native Charles W. Chesnutt (1858—1932) in many ways established the terms of the black literary tradition now exemplified by such writers as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Charles Johnson.

Cover of 'The Northern Stories of Charles W. Chesnutt'

The Northern Stories of Charles W. Chesnutt
By Charles W. Chesnutt
· Edited by Charles Duncan

The first African American fiction writer to earn a national reputation, Charles W. Chesnutt remains best known for his depictions of Southern life before and after the Civil War. But he also produced a large body of what might best be called his “Northern” writings, and those works, taken together, describe the intriguing ways in which America was reshaping itself at the turn of the last century.

Cover of 'In His Own Voice'

In His Own Voice
The Dramatic and Other Uncollected Works of Paul Laurence Dunbar
By Paul Laurence Dunbar
· Edited by Herbert Woodward Martin and Ronald Primeau
· Foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

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.