Claude McKay was born in Jamaica 1889, and in 1912, after his first volume of Jamaican dialect poetry was published in Jamaica, he traveled to the USA, eventually settling in New York City and becoming a part of the Harlem Renaissance movement of artistic expression. In Harlem Shadows (published 1922), McKay captures his shock and

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How does a blind person understand the majesty of a cathedral? The narrator in Raymond Carver’s short story “Cathedral” tries to describe it. His underlying epiphany, however, is not about architecture but about his own prejudices and stereotypes. He discovers in the end that he has been the one blind. He has not understood the

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This post may contain thematic spoilers of My Lady Ludlow. Lady Ludlow is the representation of the old aristocracy in England.  She is a conservative who does not want to allow the lower classes to gain an education or to gain “rights” in the post-Revolutionary years. Beyond those that are her servants, she essentially does

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I have so struggled to put Maru (by Bessie Head, published 1971) into context that I even reread the short novel (130 pages) before I attempted to write my thoughts. My second read solidified my perception that Maru is a type of warped fairy tale, one especially with no happily ever after. Although the prince-like

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To understand Flannery O’Connor’s short stories is understand the rural South that she was familiar with in the pre-1970s. Her stories focus on aspects character in human, every-day situations all revolving around her South, dealing with race relations, Christianity, rural versus city living, parent-child relationships, etc. She brings the reader into the settings by capturing

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