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the expanding canon teaching multicultural literature
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Reader Response: Pat Mora and James Welch Reader Response: Keith Gilyard and Mourning Dove Inquiry: Rudolfo Anaya and James Baldwin Inquiry: Tomás Rivera and Esmeralda Santiago Cultural Studies: Ishmael Reed and Graciela Limón Cultural Studies: N. Scott Momaday and Russell Leong Critical Pedagogy: Octavia E. Butler and Ruthanne Lum McCunn Critical Pedagogy: Abiodun Oyewole and Lawson Fusao Inada
Theory Overview Lesson Plans Authors and Literary Works Resources
Session 5 Cultural Studies: Ishmael Reed and Graciela Limón - Resources

Cultural Studies Theory
Teaching Strategies
Authors and Literary Works
Additional Resources


REFLECTION - Interactive Forum

Explore two poems using four approaches.


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Authors and Literary Works

 Ishmael Reed: Works by the Author
 Ishmael Reed: Works about the Author
 Graciela Limón: Works by the Author
 Graciela Limón: Works about the Author

Ishmael Reed

Works by the Author
Works about the Author

Works by the Author

Dick, Bruce and Amritjit Singh (eds). Conversations With Ishmael Reed. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 1995.
This collection of interviews and thoughts provides a good introduction to Ishmael Reed's works and literary philosophy.

Hurston, Zora Neale. Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica. San Francisco: Harper, 1990.
Reed wrote the introduction to this book by Zora Neale Hurston, another preeminent African American figure in literature. Tell My Horse is a firsthand account of Voodoo ceremonies and customs in Haiti and Jamaica in the 1930s, based on Hurston's personal investigations.

Reed, Ishmael. Airing Dirty Laundry. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1993.
A provocative collection of 36 essays, each one focused in some way on what Reed calls "the pillorying of black males." Topics include: George Will, Pat Buchanan, feminists, NPR, The New York Review of Books, The Color Purple, Oprah Winfrey, Desiree Washington, the FBI, and Anita Hill.

----. Flight to Canada. New York: Atheneum, 1976.
In this satirical historical novel, a slave named Raven Quickskill -- named for Raven, an American Indian trickster -- escapes slavery on a jet plane.

----. Japanese by Spring. New York: Maxwell Macmillan International,

In this satirical novel, Benjamin "Chappie" Puttbutt, a black junior professor at a white Northern California college, tries to emulate the dominant ideology of the school in order to attain tenure.

----. Mumbo Jumbo. New York: Simon & Schuster Trade, 1996.
Historical and fictional characters intermingle in Reed's sharp-edged novel dealing with culture wars throughout history. With subjects ranging from ragtime music to Greek philosophy, Reed makes fun of the narrowness of Western culture, using the satire for which he has become famous.

---. "Railroad Bill, A Conjure Man," From Totems to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas, 1900-2002. Reed, Ishmael (ed). New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2002.

----. The Reed Reader. Colorado: Basic Books, 2001.
This compilation showcases Reed's celebrated work, including his novels, poems, plays, and essays. The author's unmistakable prose style and unique storytelling capacities are evident throughout.

----. Shrovetide in Old New Orleans. New York: Atheneum, 1978.
In this collection of essays, originally titled This One's on Me, Reed discusses issues of artistic and political freedom.

----. Writin' Is Fightin': Thirty-Seven Years of Boxing on Paper. New York: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1990.
This collection includes essays, reviews, and editorials detailing Reed's witty, combative take on American culture. Topics include: monoculturalism, The Color Purple, illiteracy, playwrights August Wilson and Wole Soyinka, the "American literary-industrial complex," and white South Africa.

----. Yellow Back Radio Broke Down. Illinois: Dalkey Archive Press, 2000.
Written in 1969, this novel brings a cast of characters together in an unlikely parody of the Old West.

---- (ed). Multi-America: Essays on Cultural Wars & Cultural Peace. New York: Viking, 1997.
Americans from widely varied ethnic backgrounds offer 52 essays dealing with racial identity in America.

---- and Nicolás Kanellos (eds). Hispanic American Literature: A Brief Introduction and Anthology. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.
This collection includes work by Tomás Rivera, Miguel Algarin, Denise Chavez, Albert Rios, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Pat Mora, Helena Maria Viramontes, and others.

---- and Gerald Vizenor (eds). Native American Literature: A Brief Introduction and Anthology. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.
This primer includes writing by N. Scott Momaday, Paula Gunn Allen, James Welch, Joy Harjo, Sherman Alexie, Ray Young Bear, Leslie Marmon Silko, Wendy Rose, and others.

---- and Shawn Wong (eds). Asian American Literature: A Brief Introduction and Anthology. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1996.
This anthology presents writings by Hisaye Yamamoto, Bharati Mukherjee, Jessica Hagedorn, Cathy Song, Marilyn Chin, Woo Ping Chin, Yelina Hasu Houston, and others.

Young, Al. African-American Literature: A Brief Introduction and Anthology. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1996.
Works by Ishmael Reed, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Jerome Wilson, W. E. B. DuBois, James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Lucille Clifton, and others are included in this collection.


Personal Problems. Directed by Bill Gunn and Ishmael Reed.
Personal Problems portrays the life of a nurse's aide as she negotiates her husband, lover, work, and family.

The Only Language She Knows. A collaboration with writer, Genny Lim. Produced by Ishmael Reed.

Two-Fer. Co-produced by Ishmael Reed.
Directed by Cecil Brown, this film follows the fictional life of author and filmmaker Calvin Hunter as he tries to negotiate his way to tenure at a Bay Area college.


Works about the Author

Dick, Bruce (ed). The Critical Response to Ishmael Reed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999.
This reader includes critical articles on all of Reed's major works, along with a thorough bibliography.

Fox, Robert Elliot. Conscientious Sorcerers: The Black Postmodernist Fiction of Leroi Jones-Amiri Baraka, Ishmael Reed, and Samuel R. Delany. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1987.
This post-structuralist reading of Baraka, Reed, and Delany explores the connections between those major figures.

Martin, Reginald. Ishmael Reed and the New Black Aesthetic Critics. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 1988.
The author reconsiders Reed's aesthetics in the context of African American literary criticism.

McGee, Patrick. Ishmael Reed and the Ends of Race. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1997.
McGee analyzes Reed's work in the context of feminist criticism and race theory.

Ishmael Reed Publications
This site is an archive of the author's magazine publications.

Modern American Poetry: About Ishmael Reed's Life and Work
This site has further information about Ishmael Reed's writings.


Graciela Limón

Works by the Author
Works about the Author

Works by the Author

Limón, Graciela. The Day of the Moon. Texas: Arte Público Press, 1999.
In this story of forbidden love, the reader encounters four generations of the Betancourt family. The epic tale spans the 20th century, and the Southwest and Mexico, and deals with issues of skin color, gender, religious boundaries, and life and death.

---. Erased Faces. Texas: Arte Público Press, 2001.

----. In Search of Bernabé. Texas: Arte Público Press, 1993.
In Graciela Limón's first novel, the reader follows a female Mexican protagonist on an intrigue-filled international odyssey to find her son, from whom she was separated in the chaos that followed the assassination of Archbishop Romero in El Salvador. In Search of Bernabé; is a family saga that has repercussions of biblical dimensions.

----. The Memories of Ana Calderón. Texas: Arte Público Press, 2001.
Graciela Limón takes her reader on a journey through the tangled past of Ana Calderón, who, as a child, moved with her family from a Mexican fishing village to the United States and endured the hardships of migrant life along the way. As the family saga grows more and more complex, the heroine attempts to come to terms with two cultures, grueling work, and a destiny of torture and unfulfilled desires.

----. Song of the Hummingbird. Texas: Arte Público Press, 1996.
This historical novel chronicles the life of an 82-year-old Aztec princess dying in a convent as she confesses her final sins to a captivated priest. In the telling of her story, she reveals an account of the sixteenth century Spanish conquest of Mexico unlike any the priest has ever heard -- or could have imagined -- before.


Works about the Author

Rebolledo, Tey Diana. Women Singing in the Snow: A Cultural Analyis of Chicana Literature. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995.
This analysis of the Chicana literary tradition traces the development of Chicana literature from 1848 to the present.

Enduring Survival
This page offers a review of Erased Faces.

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