African American temperance novels before the Harlem Renaissance (book)

The nadir & the zenith : temperance & excess in the early African American novel

Author:Anna Pochmara
Publisher:Athens : The University of Georgia Press, [2020]
Edition/Format:  Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:“The Nadir and the Zenith is a study of temperance and melodramatic excess in African American fiction before the Harlem Renaissance. Anna Pochmara combines formal analysis with attention to the historical context, which, apart from US postbellum race relations, includes also white and black temperance movements and their discourses. Despite the proliferation of black literature in this period, and its popularity at the time, African American fiction between Reconstruction and World War I has not attracted nearly as much scholarly attention as the Harlem Renaissance. Pochmara provocatively aims to suggest that the historical moment when black people’s “status in American society” reached its lowest point-the so-called “Nadir”-coincides with the zenith of black novelistic productivity before World War II. Pochmara’s examination explores authors such as Charles W. Chesnutt, Julia C. Collins, W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sutton Griggs, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins, Lillian B. Jones Horace, James Weldon Johnson, Amelia E. Johnson, Edward A. Johnson, J. McHenry Jones, and Katherine D. Tillman. Altogether, they published no fewer than 33 novels between 1865 and 1918, surpassing the creativity of New Negro prose writers and the number of novels they published during the 1920s”–