Race, Modernity, Postmodernity

A Look at the History and the Literatures of People of Color Since the 1960s

By W. Lawrence Hogue

Subjects: African American Studies
Paperback : 9780791430965, 209 pages, October 1996
Hardcover : 9780791430958, 209 pages, October 1996

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Table of contents



1. Race, Modernity, Postmodernity: A Look at the History of People of Color since the 1960s

2. The Retreat from Modernity: Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon and N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn

3. The Limits of Modernity: Richard Rodriguez's Hunger of Memory and Andrea Lee's Sarah Phillips

4. Problematizing the Historical Past: Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior and David Bradley's The Chaneysville Incident

5. The Postmodern Subject: Maxine Hong Kingston's Tripmaster Monkey and Richard Perry's Montgomery's Children




Reads and interprets eight works of literature by people of color, foregrounding the philosophical debate about modernity vs. postmodernity rather than solely issues of race.

W. Lawrence Hogue is Associate Professor of English at the University of Houston. His previous work includes Discourse and the Other: The Production of the Afro-American Text. In addition, he was the recipient of a Ford Foundation-National Research Council Fellowship.


"Hogue provides readings of eight novels which probably would not have been interpreted together in any other kind of study. In other words, the value of Professor Hogue's study is that he takes seriously the term 'people of color' and makes an implicit case for studying the connections and shared themes in the literary productions of African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American writers. In doing so, he shows us the value of reading texts written by various people of color.

"Secondly, he takes seriously the dialogue between the creative intellectuals of color and the so-called 'mainstream' intellectual trends of the past three decades. He makes the case that texts written by people of color can be read with reference to their treatment of the philosophical tenets and epistemological concepts of modernity and postmodernity. One of the quite exciting features of Hogue's book is that it problematizes what he calls 'racial tradition' and makes a very good case for the dismantling of many of the features of that tradition. " — Ashraf H. A. Rushdy, Wesleyan University

"This is the only book I know of that discusses and compares authors of African American, Asian American, Native American, and Latin American heritage. Because of this, it is a central contribution to the central topic in American education today: multiculturalism. It combines a use of critical theory with rigorous textual analysis—hence, not avoiding a close reading of the novels, as some theorists do. It examines some of the most prominent authors in America today—authors who have received the Pulitzer Prizes (Morrison and Momaday); National Book Awards (Kingston and Morrison); and the Nobel Prize. The importance of examining these authors in the context of postmodernism is irrefutable. " — Jane Davis, Fordham University