Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-6

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 7-8

read more

Acknowledgements

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xii

I am deeply grateful to many people for supporting me in the process of completing this book. I would like to thank my advisors, friends, and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University for talking through this material and offering critical support. I hope they can see their impact on this project: William L. Andrews, Philip...

read more

1. Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-22

Contemporary beliefs about sentimentalism or ?the sentimental? are that sentimentalism is an outdated mode of appealing to readers and to the general public. This opinion is largely influenced by the cultural sway of twentieth-century modernism, which asserted that sentimentalism portrays emotion that lacks reality or depth, falling flat in its attempts ...

read more

2. Grace Lumpkin’s To Make My Bread: Standing Together, Side by Side

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 23-58

For so long each had been alone with his family striving after enough food to keep from starving. . . . Now they were going to stand together, side by Published in 1932, inspired by the events of the 1929 textile mill strikes in Gastonia, North Carolina,1 Grace Lumpkin?s To Make My Bread was praised by reviewers as both a ?beautiful and sincere novel? and ?very ...

read more

3. Josephine Johnson’s Now in November: Not Plough-Shares but People

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 59-86

Josephine Johnson was just twenty-four years old when she submitted the manuscript of Now in November to her editor, Clifton Fadiman at Simon and Schuster, in the summer of 1934. It was her first novel, and Johnson was still a student at Washington University in St. Louis. She had been an aspiring writer since her childhood in Kirkwood, Mis-...

read more

4. Caretaking, Domesticity, and Gender in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath: “His Home Is Not the Land”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 87-111

In the evening a strange thing happened: the twenty families became one family, the children were the children of all. The loss of home became one John Steinbeck is arguably the best-known proletarian author of the twentieth century. The 1962 Nobel laureate?s novels about the Depression era have remained a cultural touchstone for generations of readers, and ...

read more

5. Margaret Walker’s Jubilee: “Forged in a Crucible of Suffering”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 112-126

When Jubilee was first published in 1966, it was hailed as a welcome addition to the Civil War novel genre. Winner of the Houghton Mif-flin Literary Fellowship Award, it was described on its dust jacket as ?inevitably being called the Negro Gone with the Wind,? a comparison that would today be troubling. It not only invited Margaret Mitch-...

read more

6. Octavia Butler’s Kindred: “My Face Too Was Wet with Tears”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 127-146

Octavia Butler is arguably best known for her novel Kindred, published in 1979. She was the first African American woman to make a name for herself writing science fiction and remains one of the few African American writers?along with Samuel R. Delany?to have achieved suc-cess in the field. After developing a love of reading and an interest in sci-...

read more

7. Toni Morrison’s Beloved: “Feeling How It Must Have Felt to Her Mother”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 147-185

I was big, Paul D, and deep and wide and when I stretched out my arms all my children could get in between . . . there wasn?t nobody in the world I In a scathing 1987 review of Beloved, Stanley Crouch angrily accuses Toni Morrison of writing melodramatic sentimental fiction that is ?designed to placate sentimental feminist ideology,? making sure that ?the vision ...

read more

8. Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 186-202

The selection of writers offered here demonstrates that together in a way they cannot alone sentimentalism continues to be an effec-tive means by which contemporary texts argue for social change and instruct readers to identify and sympathize with individuals generally configured as Others. It also forces today?s reader to wrestle with a ...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 203-212

Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 213-226

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 227-232

read more

About the Author

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 233-233

Jennifer A. Williamson is a gender specialist at a Washington D.C. area global development organization, and a former instructor of English and Women?s Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has previously taught at the University of Maryland?College Park. She is the author of numerous articles and the editor of The Sentimental Mode: ...