“How to Read African American Literature is a distinctive, richly-argued book about the political implications of contemporary readings of slavery in African American historical fiction. Graceful and sophisticated, it utilizes critical paradigms ranging from psychoanalysis to queer theory, and provides cutting-edge theories on the reading and writing of African American literary history. A bold and innovative book, How To Read African American Literature makes a case for a hermeneutics by which we can make sense of how contemporary narratives of slavery are being consumed today.”
—Gene Jarrett, author of Representing the Race: A New Political History of African American Literature
“Beautifully-written and insightful, How to Read African American Literature reinvigorates black feminist critique and queer literary studies. Aida Levy-Hussen’s vision of the field of African Americanist literary criticism and its problems is startlingly lucid, precise, and attentive to the nuances of its various texts both fictive and scholarly. A model of critical writing, and of how to read.”
—Darieck Scott, author of Extravagant Abjection: Blackness, Power, and Sexuality in the African American Literary
“Throughout How to Read African American Literature, [Levy-Hussen] performs critical maneuvers that support more expansive interpretations, including reversals or counters in which she occupies the other position to resist fixity and to acknowledge foremost the role of desire in relation to the past…[Levy-Hussen’s] critical enterprise liberates African American literature from perpetuating impositions and entrenched paths by raising questions and modeling strategies that will lead the field forward in promising new directions.”
—MELUS: The Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States
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