African American Literature
An Encyclopedia for Students
by Hans A. Ostrom and J. David Macey, Editors
November 2019, 429pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7150-4
$120, £93, 105€, A165
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7151-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

African American literature remains a unique part of American and world literature because of the extraordinary social and historical circumstances out of which it developed.

This essential volume provides an overview of and introduction to African American writers and literary periods from their beginnings through the 21st century.

This compact encyclopedia, aimed at students, selects the most important authors, literary movements, and key topics for them to know.

Entries cover the most influential and highly regarded African American writers, including novelists, playwrights, poets, and nonfiction writers. The book covers key periods of African American literature—such as the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and the Civil Rights Era—and touches on the influence of the vernacular, including blues and hip hop.

The volume provides historical context for critical viewpoints including feminism, social class, and racial politics. Entries are organized A to Z and provide biographies that focus on the contributions of key literary figures as well as overviews, background information, and definitions for key subjects.


  • Provides an essential introduction to African American writers and topics, from the beginning of the 20th century into the 21st
  • Covers the major authors and key topics in African American literature
  • Gives students an accessible and approachable overview of African American literature
Hans A. Ostrom is a widely published writer and scholar, author of two books on Langston Hughes and many articles. He cofounded the African American Studies program at the University of Puget Sound. At Puget Sound, he has won several awards for teaching. He has also taught at Uppsala University in Sweden and Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany.

J. David Macey is an award-winning professor of English who edited the Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature (five volumes) with Hans Ostrom. He is a graduate of Yale University and earned his PhD from Vanderbilt University. He serves as a profess or Englishat the University of Central Oklahoma.


"Highly recommended for high school and undergraduate libraries."—Booklist, February 15, 2020

"Overall, a useful option for its target audience: students. The entries will be accessible to high schoolers, and possibly younger students, as well as college-level readers, who will learn much from the coverage of varied genres, from mystery, romance, and horror, influenced by African American writers."—Library Journal, March 1, 2020

"Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates, high school students, and general readers."—Choice, June 1, 2020
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.