Friday, March 2, 2012

Toni Cade Bambara

[By Kenton Rambsy]

Rounding out the “30 Days of 100 Novels” series, I end by focusing on Toni Cade Bambara. Her short stories, often times, overshadow her work as a novelist. Her novel, The Salt Eaters, is included in the “100 Novels Project.”

Actually, Bambara’s thematic content in her novels and short stories share many commonalities. As a Black Arts Writer, Bambara came of age during a time where African American writers were determined to define black art by its own merits and away from Eurocentric standards. As a leading female voice during the movement, Bambara placed a special emphasis in her writing on black females—both girls and women.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Edward P. Jones

[By Kenton Rambsy]

Edward P. Jones is another writer in the “100 Novels Collection” who is more known for his short stories. Surprisingly, his novel, The Known World, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2004. Even still, Jones has expressed favor for using the short story form over the novel form in his writing.

His novel, a neo-slave narrative, explores human bondage from an alternative perspective. Jones allows readers to envision the dark period of legalized human bondage in America from the perspective of a black slave owner. Jones tells the stories of people living in Manchester Country, Virginia in episodic form. His novel reveals how social and political structures impeded upon the good intentions of people and dictate their actions. In other words, Jones’s suggests that despite a person’s intentions to do good, the societal norm can most often influence a person’s train of thought and behavior.