Gayl Jones’s Eva’s Man should be on more syllabi. I have found the novel to be not only the lesser read of Jones’s work, but also a seldom-taught text within Academia. Eva’s Man is chock full of material begging for analysis – material that also calls for intense introspection from its readers. If a syllabi brought you to this post, then good on your professor. But if you are just looking for a new book to read, then check out this list. I hope you are convinced to go buy or rent a copy!
5 Reasons Gayl Jones’ Eva’s Man is an Important Novel to Read:
1) Eva’s Man was written during a watershed moment for Black writers, women writers, and the Academy at large. This book comes alongside the work of Toni Morrison, Toni Cade Bambara, Alice Walker, and others as seminal pieces in the development, production, and push of African American Literature into mainstream Academia.
2) Eva’s Man provides critical commentary on Black women’s sexuality and Black Feminism.
3) Eva’s Man connects an ideologue of femininity to mythological origins. It engages multiple fields of study and draws on a broad array of erratic figures.
4) Eva’s Man serves as a useful medium to dialogue about the industrial prison complex and institutionalized racism.
5) Eva’s Man is challenging to read both in its content and style. It engages an innovative narrative style with the always elusive problem of memory.
Just to be fair, here is a little warning: this text is quite graphic in its display or sexual violence. As you should with every book, read with an open mind even in the face of shocking imagery.