Ancestral House: The Black Short Story in the Americas and Europe



Ancestral House: The Black Short Story in the Americas and Europe

This edition

"Ancestral House: The Black Short Story in the Americas and Europe". Ed. Charles H. Rowell. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1995. xxxii+600 pp.

Other editions, reprints, and translations

Reprint as e-book: Routledge, 2021.

Online access

Table of contents

● John Edgar Wideman / Foreword
● Charles H. Rowell / Introduction

[I have omitted "United States" after the names of authors who are identified in the table of contents as being from the US]
● Ai / Absolution
● José Alcántara Almánzar (Dominican Republic) / My Singular Irene
● Tina McElroy Ansa / Willie Bea and Jaybird
● Toni Cade Bambara/ The Organizer’s Wife
● Amiri Baraka / Words
● Hal Bennett (United States/Mexico) / Miss Askew on Ice
● Dionne Brand (Trinidad/Canada) / I Used to Like the Dallas Cowboys
● Octavia E. Butler / The Evening and the Morning and the Night
● Oswaldo de Camargo (Brazil) / Civilization
● Aída Cartagena Portalatín (Dominican Republic) / They Called Her Aurora (The Love of Donna Summer)
● Maxine Clair / Cherry Bomb
● Austin C. Clarke (Barbados/Canada) / Griff
● Michelle Cliff (Jamaica/United States) / Columbia
● Merle Collins (Grenada/England/United States) / The Visit
● Christine Craig (Jamaica) / Night Thoughts
● Luiz Silva "Cuti" (Brazil) / Avenues
● Samuel R. Delany / Tapestry
● René Depestre (Haiti/France) / Rosena on the Mountain
● Rita Dove / Under the Rose
● Suzanne Dracius-Pinalie (Martinique) / Sweat, Sugar, and Blood
● Henry Dumas / Ark of Bones
● Quince Duncan (Costa Rica) / A Letter
● Nelson Estupiñán Bass (Ecuador) / The Miracle
● Percival Everett / Randall Randall
● Guy Mark Foster / This Man and Me
● Ernest J. Gaines / Three Men
● Thomas Glave (Jamaica/United States) / Accidents
● Lorna Goodison (Jamaica/[United States]) / By Love Possessed
● Claire Harris (Trinidad/Canada) / She Wakes
● Wilson Harris (Guyana/England) / Kanaima
● John Holman / Presence
● Kelvin Christopher James (Trinidad/United States) / Circle of Shade
● Charles Johnson / Alēthia
● Edward P. Jones / The First Day
● Gayl Jones / The Fisherman’s House
● John R. Keene / Transits
● William Melvin Kelley / My Next-to-Last Hit
● Randall Keenan / The Origin of Whales
● Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua/United States) / Song of Roland
● Yanick Lahens (Haiti) / The Blue Room
● Helen Elaine Lee / Marriage Bones
● Earl Lovelace (Trinidad) / Shoemaker Arnold
● Clarence Major / City Flesh and Country Manners
● Paule Marshall / Some Get Wasted
● John McCluskey, Jr. / Specimen
● Reginald McKnight / The More I Like Flies
● Terry McMillan / Quilting on the Rebound
● Mark McMorris (Jamaica/United States) / Black Pieces
● James Alan McPherson / The Story of a Scar
● Pauline Melville (Guyana/England) / I Do Not Take Messages from Dead People
● Opal Moore / A Happy Story
● Toni Morrison / Recitatif
● Bruce Morrow / A Play
● Walter Mosley / Voodoo
● Adalberto Ortiz (Ecuador) / Bewitched
● Stanley Péan (Haiti/Canada) / The Devil's Maw
● Richard Perry / Juby’s Morning
● M. Nourbese Philip (Tobago/Canada) / Stop Frame
● Alix Renaud (Haiti/Canada) / Yawetir
● Jewell Parker Rhodes / Enough Rides
● Esmeralda Ribeiro (Brazil) / Keep a Secret
● Astrid Roemer (Surinam/Holland) / The Inheritance of My Father: A Story for Listening
● Elio Ruiz (Cuba/Mexico) / The Little White Girl
● Darieck Scott / This City of Men
● Olive Senior (Jamaica) / You Think I Mad, Miss?
● Makeda Silvera (Jamaica/Canada) / Her Head a Village
● Carlos Arturo Truque (Colombia) / Sonatina for Two Drums
● Ana Lydia Vega (Puerto Rico) / Kembé
● Alice Walker / Nineteen Fifty-Five
● John Edgar Wideman / Fever

About the Book and Editor
Notes on Contributors

Reviews and notices of anthology

● Taylor-Guthrie, Danille. "'Ancestral House': An Anthology of Major Black Authors." "Chicago Tribune" 19 Nov. 1996. Web.
"'Ancestral House' is a rich compendium of fiction by most of the major authors of the African diaspora for the last 30 years. It is a rare treat to have such a vast array of black writers--from North, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe--available in one collection. The source for the majority of this collection is the literary journal Callaloo, which since 1976 has solicited and featured contemporary black literature. . . . Rowell has culled through the pages of almost 30 years of literature and produced a highly readable, insightful and sometimes startling volume."
"For the most part this is a strong collection. Major works by Marshall, Dumas, Dove, McPherson, Gaines and John E. Wideman have been compiled. The hard-to-locate "Recitatif" by Morrison is an unusual story that her fans should not miss. The selections by younger writers are not always as even, and such proven writers as Leon Forrest and Ntozake Shange are noticeably missing. Also missing are stories by Maryse Conde and Edwidge Danticat, and any selection by a Puerto Rican writer [sic, there is a story by Ana Lydia Vega]; there is only one by a Cuban. . . . 'Ancestral House' links the past with the present and brings the survivors of slavery closer together as a community of differences as well as shared experiences and culture. Rowell is to be commended for editing this anthology. There is no better place to begin to learn the language of 'Blackness' (as Gwendolyn Brooks prefers to say)--a much broader concept than [many?] Americans realize."

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