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9781625344861
English
184
12 b&w illus.
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v2.1 Reference
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June 10, 2020
9781625344878
English
184
12 b&w illus.
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v2.1 Reference

Writing across the Color Line

U.S. Print Culture and the Rise of Ethnic Literature, 1877-1920

The turn of the twentieth century was a period of experimental possibility for U.S. ethnic literature as a number of writers of color began to collaborate with the predominantly white publishing trade to make their work commercially available. In this new book, Lucas A. Dietrich analyzes publishers' and writers' archives to show how authors—including María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Charles W. Chesnutt, Finley Peter Dunne, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Sui Sin Far—drew readers into their texts by subverting existing stereotypes and adapting styles of literary regionalism and dialect writing.

Writing across the Color Line details how this body of literature was selected for publication, edited, manufactured, advertised, and distributed, even as it faced hostile criticism and frequent misinterpretation by white readers. Shedding light on the transformative potential of multiethnic literature and the tenacity of racist attitudes that dominated the literary marketplace, Dietrich proves that Native American, African American, Latinx, Asian American, and Irish American writers of the period relied on self-caricature, tricksterism, and the careful control of authorial personae to influence white audiences.

About the Author

LUCAS A. DIETRICH is adjunct professor of humanities at Lesley University.

Reviews

"Writing across the Color Line makes a significant contribution to the fields of American literature (especially American literary realism, but also modernism), print culture, and multiethnic literature. The fact that Dietrich uses examples from different ethnic literary traditions is a real strength of this book."—Lori Harrison-Kahan, author of The White Negress: Literature, Minstrelsy, and the Black-Jewish Imaginary

"Dietrich adds to our understanding of some now-canonical authors in the field of multiethnic literature at the turn of the century, as well as our understanding of lesser-known authors, by bringing to bear extensive archival work."—Eric Aronoff, author of Composing Cultures: Modernism, American Literary Studies, and the Problem of Culture

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June 10, 2020
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