Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-6

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-x

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-20

This book begins with a seemingly simple, but endlessly complex, question: How and when is it permissible for one to say “we” so as to express solidarity with those of different ethnic, gender, and sexual configurations? As Barbara Christian rightly reminds me, when I say “we,” I pose the threat of speaking for others and co-opting their story (“Race for...

read more

1. Beyond Oedipus

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 21-48

Read for its latent meanings, Intruder in the Dust traces the cause of racial lynchings to a model of identity formation based in exclusionary tactics. At this symbolic level, the novel’s two central developments, the mob frenzy to lynch Lucas Beauchamp and the murder of Vinson Gowrie, appear to be driven by an oppositional, either-or logic. Disguised by...

read more

2. Crossing a Racial Border

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 49-71

Richard Wright’s Native Son has long been read as a powerful indictment of the warping effects of racial oppression in America. While the fiction’s status as one of America’s foremost racial protest novels is uncontestable, still the widely accepted interpretation that it denounces racial victimization and condemns a “white American society” that drives...

read more

3. Flannery O’Connor’s Prophets

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 72-92

Flannery O’Connor famously insisted that the subject of her fiction “is the action of grace in territories largely held by the devil” (Mystery 118). While, as James Mellard notes, O’Connor largely has “had her way with critics” (“O’Connor’s Others” 625), her interpreters have been hardpressed to reconcile the signature violence in her fiction with traditional...

read more

4. “Nobody Could Make It Alone”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 93-110

Toni Morrison’s Beloved exposes the societally sanctioned, institutionalized terror tactics used by white slave owners to rob black women and men of subjectivity and agency. As the novel begins, the ex-slave Sethe and her daughter, Denver, are still experiencing the psychological wreckage infl icted by slavery some years after slavery has been abolished. Sethe...

read more

5. Cross-Racial Identification in Blackface Minstrelsy and Black Like Me

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 111-140

In the preceding chapters, I explored literary representations of the father figure’s role in setting boundaries; in this last chapter, I propose to look closely at two cultural examples of fatherly mediation in setting a boundary between white and black racial identities in America. My objective is to distinguish between...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 141-144

We think of a boundary as a place that distinguishes identities by shutting out. But this is a popular misconception. A boundary is the middle, a mysterious, dangerous, two-in-one place that differentiates between the one and the other precisely because it is both the one and the...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 145-158

Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 159-168

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 169-174