Random House, Inc. In this vital and inspiring volume, John Edgar Wideman has brought together the first truly representative sampling of literature by African-American writers in the early centuries of our history. Reaching across periods, styles, and regional borders, Wideman has selected twelve works of genius–some of them celebrated literary icons, others neglected or forgotten masterpieces– and reprinted them in their entirety. The result is a book as thrilling in its passion as it is vast in scope.
Though these selections come from a range of genres (verse, memoir, historical, and personal narrative), they are all, fundamentally, stories of strength and survival. Frederick Douglass’s frank narrative of escape from slavery and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s classic verse take their place beside lesser-known works like Nat Love’s stirring account of life as a black cowboy, Ida B. Wells’s haunting descriptions of lynchings, and the crisp, compelling adventures of Olaudah Equiano. Wideman prefaces each selection with an illuminating biographical essay.
The fruit of a lifetime’s devotion to the best American writing, My Soul Has Grown Deep will stand as an enduring monument to the depth and beauty of African-American literature.
Baker & Taylor Contains brief biographical sketches and well-known and obscure works by African-American authors from the late 1700s to the early 1900s, including Phillis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, Ida B. Wells, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. Reprint.