The History of Reading and the Death of the Text

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3 Scopus citations


A recent book by Karla FC Holloway, African-American professor of English, law, and women’s history at Duke, is in part a scholarly work that analyzes the booklists invariably included in African-American autobiographies. But the subtitle of Bookmarks: Reading in Black and White (2006) is “A Memoir,” and Holloway’s analysis of what reading has meant to writers from Frederick Douglass through Maya Angelou and Henry Louis Gates is interspersed with retrospective vignettes from her own experience of books and reading.
A chilling moment occurs in a passage describing the second of two short conversations between Holloway and her son Bern, when he was a young prisoner in Odom Correctional facility, North Carolina. Bern was never a reader; but when he was incarcerated his mother continued to believe, as she had throughout his childhood, that his salvation (and hers) depended on the increasingly
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-858
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Literary History
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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