William Melvin Kelley’s A Different Drummer (1962) is a fascinating book, not just for the story it tells but for the way Kelley presents that story. The novel’s plot is pretty straight forward, on the surface. An African American, Tucker Caliban, buys some land from the white family that him and has ancestors have worked for since the Civil War. After he buys the … Read More Point of View in William Melvin Kelley’s “A Different Drummer”
Last post, I wrote about Inch in Frank Yerby’s The Foxes of Harrow (1946). Today, I want to take a moment to discuss Inch’s grandmother Caleen and her role in constructing and maintaining Stephen Fox’s plantation at Harrow. Even though the novel focuses on Stephen’s ascendancy in New Orleans society and his growth as a plantation owner, he could not have achieved his position … Read More Aunt Caleen and Subversion in Frank Yerby’s "The Foxes of Harrow"
Original 1946 Cover Frank Yerby’s first novel The Foxes of Harrow originally appeared in 1946. After attempting to publish protest fiction, Yerby turned to historical fiction as his literary avenue. The shift catapulted him to the top of the literary charts, becoming one of the best selling African American authors of all time. Yerby published around 33 novels which sold over 55 million copies. Yerby’s … Read More Frank Yerby’s "The Foxes of Harrow" and Resistence
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On Tuesday, I listed my top five posts from 2015. Today, I want to take the opportunity to share with you the to five books I read/reread this previous year. Again, this list is in no particular order. As with most lists, this one was hard to compile, especially considering all of the books I read this year from Frank Yerby’s Speak Now to John A. … Read More Top Five Books of 2015!
During one of the class periods for my course on Ernest J. Gaines and his influences, I had my students watch the ESPN 30 for 30 film Ghosts of Ole Miss. (For Wright Thompson’s article on the film’s subject, go to ESPN.com.) I saw this documentary when it originally aired, and at the time, I knew that I had a couple of problems with … Read More William Faulkner and the 1962 Ole Miss Football Team: "The Ghosts of Ole Miss"