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This is a project for my lit class, but I like it enough that I plan to actually make it a feature of this blog. I am going to post reviews and essays about American lit, but not new books -- old stuff, as far back as the earliest American works, viewed through a modern lens. I plan to discuss issues of feminism, race, gender, sexuality, and intersectionality. Hope you'll add to the discussion by posting links to your own reviews, and/or comments on mine. Thanks for reading!
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The Reread at the End of the Universe: Does It Matter That H2G2 Fails the Bechdel Test?

Not about American lit per se, but a good, brief article on why it matters that we look at literature through a feminist (and I would say anti-racist, etc.) lens.
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"Who's Chinese?" (Gish Jen's short story "Who's Irish?")
Read more... )

This story passes the Bechdel test, proving that even a short work can manage to be not-about-men without being dull or passive.
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The Taste of Home and Country (Judith Ortiz Cofer's The Latin Deli)

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It's been a long time since I read this book, but if I remember right, it passes the Bechdel test. Have you read it more recently?
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Today, I will be posting some essays I've written recently about American literature. Later this week, I will try to post at least one book or story review a day. I hope you'll read and comment on at least one this week if you have the time; it will help me get a better grade. :-)

Here's an essay I wrote about James Baldwin and the concept that rather than being an unalloyed good, innocence is a way to further evil in the world:

Something Left to Lose: The High Cost of Losing Innocence )

And here's the PDF of a photoessay I did for the same course, "James Baldwin in his own words."
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You may have surmised that I'm enamored of Harriet Jacobs. Here's an annotated bibliography I put together. It's short, but maybe I'll add to it over time.

Annotated Bibliography, Harriet Jacobs )
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The way I think this will work is I'll post each of my essays, lit reviews, or link lists under a cut, and tag the living daylights out of each, so that the collection can grow organically. I'm pondering how to best use tags (compound author:name tags, maybe?), so if you have suggestions, please pipe up. I want this to be pretty awesome in just ten weeks, so I'm open to tutelage.

First up is an essay I wrote for a Black Lit class about Harriet Jacobs, drawing on four articles about her work.

Harriet Jacobs on the Authority of Black Women )


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