Novel Bondage (Hardback)
  • Novel Bondage (Hardback)
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Novel Bondage (Hardback)

(author)
£76.00
Hardback 160 Pages / Published: 19/07/2011
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Novel Bondage unravels the interconnections between marriage, slavery, and freedom through renewed readings of canonical nineteenth-century novels and short stories by black and white authors. Situating close readings of fiction alongside archival material concerning the actual marriages of authors such as Lydia Maria Child, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Wells Brown, and Frank J. Webb, Chakkalakal examines how these early novels established literary conventions for describing the domestic lives of American slaves in describing their aspirations for personal and civic freedom. Exploring this theme in post-Civil War works by Frances E.W. Harper and Charles Chesnutt, she further reveals how the slave-marriage plot served as a fictional model for reforming marriage laws. Chakkalakal invites readers to rethink the "marital work" of nineteenth-century fiction and the historical role it played in shaping our understanding of the literary and political meaning of marriage, then and now.

Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252036330
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 386 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Chakkalakal's book provides a new perspective on the central figures within the black family and the ways in which that aspect of family helps create meaning within the community and identify in the individual. . . . it is an informative and thoughtful text"--The Western Journal of Black Studies



"Tess Chakkalakal advances important scholarship on African American marriage during and immediately following the slave era. Her readings of canonical authors are provocative and controversial, but grounded well enough to enliven conversations about these writers and their times."

--Frances Smith Foster, author of 'Til Death or Distance Do Us Part: Love and Marriage in African America


"A must read. Highly recommended."--Choice

"Fresh, surprising, cleanly written, and wonderfully effective."--Legacy


"Exploring the paradox represented by slave marriage in nineteenth-century American fiction, Novel Bondage deftly revises our reading of canonical works, offering a clearer understanding of these texts as direct participants in critiquing marriage as a legal institution."--Kenneth W. Warren, author of What Was African American Literature?

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