Calling the Wind: Twentieth Century African-American Short Stories



Calling the Wind: Twentieth Century African-American Short Stories

This edition

"Calling the Wind: Twentieth Century African-American Short Stories" . Ed. Clarence Major. New York: HarperPerennial, 1993. xxv+622 pp.

Table of contents

The goophered grapevine / Charles Chesnutt -- The ingrate / Paul Laurence Dunbar -- Mary Elizabeth / Jessie Fauset -- Esther / Jean Toomer -- The hands: a story / Marita Bonner -- Sanctuary / Nella Larsen -- Truant / Claude McKay -- A summer tragedy / Arna Bontemps -- Miss Cynthie / Rudolph Fisher -- The gilded six-bits / Zora Neale Hurston -- Headwaiter / Chester Himes -- Bright and morning star / Richard Wright -- Jack in the pot / Dorothy West -- Flying home / Ralph Ellison -- Who's passing for who? / Langston Hughes -- The only man on Liberty Street / William Melvin Kelley -- Come out the wilderness / James Baldwin -- Has anybody seen Miss Dora Dean? / Ann Petry -- Mother dear and Daddy / Junius Edwards -- Blues for Pablo / John Stewart -- Son in the afternoon / John A. Williams -- What's your problem? / Robert Boles -- The distributors / Henry Dumas -- Wade / Rosa Guy -- Key to the city / Diane Oliver -- The alternative / LeRoi Jones ; Amiri Baraka -- To Da-duh, in memoriam / Paule Marshall -- A new day / Charles Wright -- Night and the loves of Joe Dicostanzo / Samuel R. Delaney -- The lookout / Cyrus Colter -- A long day in November / Ernest J. Gaines -- The lesson / Toni Cade Bambara -- The story of a scar / James Alan McPherson -- Soldiers / Ellease Southerland -- Roselily / Alice Walker -- White rat / Gayl Jones -- Loimos / Edgar Nkose White -- The education of Mingo / Charles Johnson -- Scat / Clarence Major -- Now is the time / Cecil M. Brown -- Damballah / John Edgar Wideman -- Kiswana Browne / Gloria Naylor -- "Recitatif" / Toni Morrison -- Girl / Jamaica Kincaid -- Chitterling / Henry Van Dyke -- Jesus and Fat Tuesday / Colleen J. McElroy -- The world of Rosie Polk / Ann Allen Shockley -- Mali is very dangerous / Reginald McKnight -- Her mother's payers on fire / Don Belton -- Wings of the dove / Hal Bennett -- Zazoo / Larry Duplechan -- Guess who's coming to Seder / Trey Ellis -- Top of the game / John McCluskey Jr. -- Going to meet Aaron / Richard Perry -- Willie Bea and Jaybird / Tina McElroy Ansa -- Screen memory / Michelle Cliff -- Age would be that does / Percival Everett -- Going for the Moon / Al Young -- Quilting on the rebound / Terry McMillan.

Reviews and notices of anthology

• Early, Gerald. "Old and New: African-American Short Stories Anthologized." Rev. of "Calling the Wind: Twentieth-Century African-American Short Stories", ed. Clarence Major and of "Black American Short Stories: A Century of the Best", ed. John Henrik Clarke. "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" (28 Feb. 1993): C5. "Proquest Databases". "Both books present their works in chronological order and, although some authors are represented in both, there is, except for Charles Chesnutt's "The Goophered Grapevine," Zora Neale Hurston's "The Gilded Six Bits" and Richard Wright's "Bright and Morning Star," virtually no overlap. Major, himself a noted fiction writer for the last 20 or so years, includes a greater number of younger, contemporary writers such as Terry McMillan, Richard Perry, Trey Ellis, Reginald McKnight, Gloria Naylor and Jamaica Kincaid. Unquestionably, Major's is the more comprehensive and will probably be the standard text for black shorts stories for the next several years. But the Clarke volume does contain stories of importance and interest and can serve as a supplement to Major's.
"Fortunately, both volumes avoid reprinting the overly anthologized, such as James MacPherson's "Solo Song: For Doc," James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" or Toni Cade Bambara's "My Man Bovanne." On the other hand, the omission of Ted Posten's "The Revenge of the Evil Fairies" or Richard Wright's "The Man Who Lived Underground" seems cause for some complaint. And what about Alice Childress, Margaret Walker, Kristin Hunter and Ronald Fair?
"Both introductions are serviceable. Major's is the farm more theoretically and intellectually rendered, although Clarke, longtime editor of the well-regarded, epochal but now defunct Freedomways and now an avowed Afrocentric, seems intent on reminding his black readers on every possible occasion of the fairly indelible if mundane fact that they did, indeed, once hail from Africa. But this fact alone has little to do with the complex development of African-American literature in English, under Christian influence, in a democratic, capitalist, industrialized culture.
"While neither book is of the seminal stature of the LeRoi Jones/Larry Neal collection "Black Fire, or the Negro Caravan," edited by Sterling Brown, Arthur P. Davis and Ulysses Lee, they are both worthy additions to the libraries of anyone interested in African-American literature, especially the Major anthology."

Commentary on anthology

• "begins with Chesnutt and Dunbar and comes down to Terry McMillan's 1991 story 'Quitting on the Rebound.' The fifty-nine stories included are arranged in order of publication, with eight from the Harlem Renaissance, four from the late 1930s and early 1940s, fifteen from the 1950s and 1960s, ten from the 1970s, fifteen from the 1980s, and five from the first two years of the present decade" (Kinnamon 1997: 474).

Cited in

Kinnamon 1997: 474]

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