Elizabeth WestApr 9, 2012
African Spirituality in Black Women's Fiction
Threaded Visions of Memory, Community, Nature, and Being
Lexington Books 2011
Elizabeth West has written an insightful study about the presence of African spirituality in the autobiographies, poetry, speeches and novels of African American women, ranging from Phylis Wheatley to Harriet Wilson to Zora Neale Hurston. West's book is titled African Spirituality in Black Women's Fiction: Threaded Visions of Memory, Community, Nature, and Being (Lexington Books, 2011). It's a powerful read! West's two blubists, literary critics Georgene Bess Montgomery and Dana Williams, do not hold back in expressing their admiration of the work . Both detail how useful the book is to readers, students, and teachers of African American studies. Montgomery writes that "while [the authors West studies] have received much critical attention and analysis, [West's] analysis is quite original and provocative." And Williams adds that West's book "is an important first step in advancing new frameworks through which to read African American literature." This provocative examination of how Motherland spirituality inflects, influences, and sometimes challenges and often times mingles with Anglo-Christianity as a rhetorical device for black female authors is too important to miss.