restricted access Art, Activism, and Labor: Community and Nation in Contemporary African American Women’s Literature


This essay reviews Carmen L. Phelps’s Visionary Women Writers of Chicago’s Black Arts Movement and Courtney Thorsson’s Women’s Work: Nationalism and Contemporary African American Women’s Novels. Both monographs focus on acts of recovery in women’s African American literature in the second half of the twentieth century, seeking to revise and expand our understanding of community, black feminism, and the role of literary form in constructions of nation and identity.