Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 55 general entries. We are selecting 30 for display.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
|This poet was included in Oprah's 2005 Legends Ball. She is also a novelist whose book has been selected as an Oprah Book Club selection. Who is she? ||Serious African American Literature I
Pearl Cleage. Pearl Cleage is best known for the novel "What Seems Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day"; she has also written short stories, poems, and other novels, such as "Baby Brother's Blues."
Go Tell It on the Mountain. The coming-of-age novel is considered one of the best of American fiction.
Walker. Margaret Walker ("Jubilee") is the aunt of Alice Walker ("Meridian"); she is also recognized as an outstanding poet.
Octavia Butler. Octavia Butler began writing science fiction at age 12. She was a giant in a genre where not many African Americans, especially female, are recognized.
Harriet Jacobs. Harriet hid away in the rafters of a house hiding from slave catchers.
Richard Wright. Bigger Thomas is the main character in Wright's novel "Native Son", about a young man who murders a white girl out of irrational fear.
Albert. "The Color Purple" debuted as a Broadway musical to rave reviews in 2006.
1952. "Invisible Man" is a complicated novel written about the journey of a character whose name is never known. This character is faced with the challenges of assimilation and culture.
Eldridge Cleaver. Cleaver wrote "Soul on Ice" while in prison. After leaving the Black Panther Party, he joined the Republican Party.
|Amanda Wingfield, Laura Wingfield, Tom Wingfield, and Jim O'Connor are all characters in a very famous American play. What is the name of the play, and who was the playwright?||An American Literature Syllabus
"The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams. Other famous plays by Williams include "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," and "The Night of the Iguana." According to wikipedia.org, the character of Laura Wingfield may have been inspired by Williams' sister, Rose, who suffered from schizophrenia.
|"A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" is a short story from "Winner Take Nothing," a 1933 collection by which famous American author?||An American Literature Syllabus
Ernest Hemingway. According to the "Literature and the Language Arts" textbook, this story "unfolds primarily through dialogue, written with Hemingway's characteristic spare prose." Hemingway is also famous for his novels, including "A Farewell to Arms," "The Sun Also Rises," and "For Whom the Bell Tolls".
e. e. cummings. Edward Estlin Cummings was a noted poet of 20th century America who experimented a great deal with the use of lowercase and capitalization in his writing. His widow has stated, however, that despite rumors, he did not have his name legally changed to "e.e. cummings" (information from wikipedia.org).
The Civil War. This short story by Ambrose Bierce concerns a man, Peyton Farquhar, and his tragic experience at Owl Creek Bridge. Bierce's nickname was "Bitter Bierce" because of his cynical, unhappy nature and his satirical wit.
|From what famous poem do the following lines come?
"Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!"||An American Literature Syllabus
"The Chambered Nautilus". This beautiful poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes is one of my favorites! It is possible that Holmes was inspired to write it after reading "Compensation," an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Nathaniel Hawthorne. One of Hawthorne's most famous works, "The Scarlet Letter," concerns such issues as adultery, temptation, and guilt. His short story, "Rappaccini's Daughter," also focuses on the Puritan obsession with evil.
Being the first black female poet in America. Phillis Wheatley was captured and enslaved as a child in West Africa. Her owners, the Wheatleys, educated her and soon discovered they had a child prodigy in their household. As an adult, Phillis was set free by the Wheatleys, and later, she met General George Washington after writing a poem in praise of him and the American Revolution.
Anne Bradstreet. Anne's brother-in-law had her poems published without her knowledge in 1650. Her excellent writing gives us a glimpse into life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and includes such works as "To My Dear and Loving Husband" and "Upon the Burning of Our House".
Djuna Barnes. T.S. Eliot praised "Nightwood" (1936) for its complexity and its sophistication.. The famous Dylan Thomas thought it was one of the great books written by a woman in the twentieth century.
One of her books is called "I Could Never be Lonely without a Husband: Interviews by Djuna Barnes. Her titles are outrageous: in 1915 she published "The Book of Repulsive Women." Her writing style overall is unique, difficult and important. Djuna Barnes lived from 1892-1982. From being born in a log cabin, she moved to the high culture salons of Modernist Paris. Finally, she returned to Greenwich Village where she spent the last four decades of her long life.
H. D.. HD's amazing life has been subject of much attention. Barbara Guest wrote a biography in 1984. HD, born Hilda Doolittle, initially was linked to the American poet, Ezra Pound and his movement called Imagism or a direct and unmediated connection to perceived material. In fact, Pound sent in to Harriet Monroe some of her poems which he famously signed as "H.D., Imagiste." HD was intimately connected to major thinkers and writers of the 20th century. Her books include a novel "Bid Me to Live," a trilogy, an important piece of writing called "A Tribute to Freud." "The Gift," "Hermonine," "Bid Me to Live," "Palimpsest," "Collected Poems." Many argue that she created a specifically "woman's mythology," in "Trilogy," "Helen in Egypt," and "Hermetic Definition." She is a fascinating, profound writer whose depth and worth many find daunting.
Ina Coolbrith. In 1915, Coolbrith was named poet laureate of California. Her life became very social. She knew all the famous writers in the California scene in the late 19th century, Joaquin Miller, Mark Twain, Jack London and others. Unfortunately, she believed, it seems, that her mission was to serve the careers of other writers before developing her own gift. In 1906, all her notes and drafts were burned down in a huge fire. She had been thinking of writing an autobiography, a book all agree could have been a true jewel, given her closeness to so many writers and creative people. The fire destroyed that plan.
Ursula LeGuin. Le Guin wrote "The Earth Sea Trilogy," "The Lathe of Heaven," and, more recently, her continuation of Virgil, a novel called "Lavinia." Le Guin's fiction is speculative, non-conventional, a true mixture of philosophical novel and narrative action. Her writing combines psychological, speculative and philosophical thinking.
|Who was the woman writer married to one of the famous writers of the 1920s? She was a dancer and a novelist whose novel "Save Me the Waltz" was her veiled rendition of her marriage to one of the most famous writers of the "Jazz Age."||In the Shadows: Interesting American Women Writers
Zelda Fitzgerald. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre married in 1920. For many readers, she is famous mainly for being an archetypal flapper. She was beautiful and daring, and she was creative--a dancer and a writer. In intricate ways, F. Scott Fitzgerald competed with his wife over her writing. He did unusual things like quote from her diaries directly in his novels. She did not respect this borrowing and said that his plagiarism began right in their home. She had a nervous breakdown and spent the rest of her life institutionalized. In 1948, she died in a fire which burnt up the sanitarium where she was living in Asheville, North Carolina.
She is truly a remarkable person whose life story appears in depth in Nancy Milford's 1970 biograph, "Zelda."
Anais Nin. Anais Nin was born in France and became a naturalized American citizen. She is famous first because of her long affair with the celebrated writer, Henry Miller and also because of her diaries, novels and letters. Her writing is known for its explicit sexuality. In general, she has always taken second place to Miller, and her writing, although it is very experimental, is not assessed for that reason primarily. Her writing focuses on the psychological and on sensations. Some of her books are The House of Incest" and "Cities of the Interior" which Nin calls a "continuous novel."
Hannah Foster. Hannah Foster published "The Coquette, or the History of Eliza Wharton" in 1797. Although this novel was a best seller in its time, many people today have difficulty reading it effectively. In addition to being a novel of retribution in that the main woman character who got pregnant 'out of wedlock' died in childbirth, being typically "seduced and abandoned," the novel becomes even more interesting in its presentation of psychological imbalances and tortured self-awareness.
Margaret Fuller. Margaret Fuller co-edited (with Ralph Waldo Emerson) "The Dial," the Transcdendentalist journal. Her father famously overworked her in her childhood. Later, she will inspire great controversy. Hawthorne satirized her in "The Blithedale Romance." She conducted what she called "conversations" in her Boston home and was the author of "Women in the Nineteenth Century" (1845), an in-depth study of women's exclusion from independence, intellectual, legal and cultural. She also was the author of a complex study, "Summer on the Lakes," a journey she made to the Mid-West. In it, she observed Native Americans and the coming of changes to Michigan and Illinois. She will leave the United States and go to Italy as a correspondent. There she observed the Italian revolution, met and fell in love with Count Ossoli, and, upon returning with him returning to America, died in a tragic ship accident near Fire Island. Her body was never found.
Fuller is one of the first women intellectuals: she translated, theorized, met numerous famous people overseas. For instance, she was the first woman allowed to use Harvard Library. Fuller wrote that domestic life for women in particular has to combine the mind and the body.
Olive Ann Oatman Fairchild. Fairchild was captured in Arizona at age 13 (1851) by Yavapai Indians (although this fact is debated). She was sold to Mojave Indians and had the permanent mark of a slave-blue cactus needle tattoo on her chin. She has an out of print title at Amazon, "Five Years Among Wild Savages: The renowned Apachee captive Miss Olive Oatman. This distinguished lady, whose tragical history of Indian massacre and captivity ... among the Apachee & Mohave Indians." Readers often point out frequently that her account is loaded with racist language, as this title suggests.
Whatever is the truth, her picture (with her blue chin) is chilling.
|Who is the woman who became a slave at the age of seven and the founder of African American literature? When she published "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral," in 1773, she became instantly famous and people like George Washington praised her writing.||In the Shadows: Interesting American Women Writers
Phillis Wheatley. Wheatley had a very dramatic life, being kidnapped in Kenya and brought to America in 1761 on a ship called "Phillis." Her slave owner in America educated her in languages, including Latin and history. Her metered poetry soon took up the growing call for freedom. She was both celebrated and also belittled. She married a black grocer who subsequently left her. For all her fame, she died a poor woman, having had to work as a servant after her family life unravelled.
Ironically, at one point, people actually interrogated her to see if she could be smart enough to write her very cultured poems.
Mary Austin. Mary Austin was born in Illinois and then made it her goal to learn as much as she could about Native-American life in the Mojave Desert. Her most famous book is "The Land of Little Rain," which is a brilliant defense of the desert. She wrote plays, essays and poetry. In Carmel, California, she was part of a group that included Jack London, Ambrose Bierce, and George Sterling, and she was one of the founders of the Forest Theater.
She wrote an autobiography called "Earth Horizon." Her writing is stark and dramatic. She forms part of a generation of women writers moving away from being private, stay-at-home mothers to become independent, freethinking women.
Constance Woolson. Constance Fenimore Woolson met Henry James in 1880 and, ever since, people have speculated as to the nature of their relationship. Speculation was fuelled still more when in 1894 she jumped to her death from the window of her apartment on the Grand Canal in Venice. Woolson wrote short stories and novels dealing with the South, expatriates and the Great Lakes. Her most famous short story is "Miss Grief," and her most admired novel is "For the Major."
Georgia Douglas Johnson. She is of mixed race, African American, Native American and English. Her education is primarily in music--she has a degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She was prolific, publishing at least 200 poems, 40 plays, 30 songs, and edited 100 books by 1930. Her two books of poems are "The Heart of a Woman" and "Bronze." Her most famous book is "An Autumn Love Child" Then, in the 1930s, she wrote anti-lynching writings which she found difficult to publish. Many of these writings have been lost. Many sources agree that after her funeral many of her writings were thrown out.
Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt. Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt (August 11, 1836 - December 22, 1919 in Caldwell, New Jersey) published approximately 450 poems. Many people are calling her the "strongest poet of her day" after Emily Dickinson. Her poetry came out in an Amazon series called "American Poetry Recovery Series." Reading them again, a reader can find her poems surprisingly modern.