African American Autobiographers: A Sourcebook – ( 2002 )
There is growing popular and scholarly interest in autobiography, along with increasing regard for the achievements of African American writers. The first reference of its kind, this volume chronicles the autobiographical tradition in African American literature. Included are alphabetically arranged entries for 66 African American authors who present autobiographical material in their works. The volume profiles major figures, such as Frederick Douglass, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Malcolm X, along with many lesser known autobiographers who deserve greater attention.
While some are known primarily for their literary accomplishments, others have gained acclaim for their diverse contributions to society.The entries are written by expert contributors and provide authoritative information about their subjects. Each begins with a concise biography, which summarizes the life and achievements of the autobiographer. This is followed by a discussion of major autobiographical works and themes, along with an overview of the autobiographer’s critical reception. The entries close with primary and secondary bibliographies, and a selected, general bibliography concludes the volume. Together, the entries provide a detailed portrait of the African American autobiographical tradition from the 18th century to the present.