This book examines the post-1990s African American novels, namely the "neo-urban novel," and develops a new urban discourse for the twenty-first century on how the city, as a social formation, impacts black characters through everyday discursive practices of whiteness. The critique of everyday life in a racial context is important in considering diverse forms of the lived reality of black everyday life in the novelistic representations of the white dominant urban order. African American fictional representations of the city have political significance in that the "neo-urban novel" explores the nature of the American society at large. This book explores the need to understand how whiteness works, what it forecloses, and what it occasionally opens up in everyday life in American society.
Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Number of pages: 254
Weight: 381 g
Dimensions: 226 x 154 x 20 mm
Lale Demirturk's critical study of the African American "neo-urban novel" draws together an impressive array of postmodern theory and criticism. This in-depth analysis of novels by six contemporary American writers convincingly demonstrates how these novelists ultimately subvert the discursive power of normative whiteness. The study's interpretative framework is aptly applied to a range of texts, from Walter Mosley's popular detective fiction to Percival Everett's and John Edgar Wideman's arguably more literary works. The internationalist perspective of the book provides an intriguing angle on how these cutting-edge writers re-imagine the everyday realities of the American urban landscape. Theoretically assured and richly detailed, Demirturk's study will prove a rewarding read for serious students of African American literature. -- Bonnie Tusmith, Associate Professor, Washington State University
Lale Demirturk's new text importantly demonstrates how black people contest urban spaces as tropes of black criminality and savagery in need of white control and how, through such acts of contestation, black bodies are able to re-signify such urban spaces as sites of agential identity formation in relationship to white hegemony. Demirturk's text, which makes a significant contribution to African American literature, whiteness studies, and the dynamics of racialized urban space, is as much an intelligent and splendid analysis of "the African American neo-urban novel" as it is a text that infuses her own identity as an ally of black people. -- George Yancy, professor of philosophy, Emory University