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Conversations with Gloria Naylor

Edited by Maxine Lavon Montgomery

224 pp.

978-1-57806-633-9 Paper $25.00T

Paper, $25.00

"I talk to myself and to my characters--and I let them speak for me. I feel that they have chosen me, for whatever reason, to convey their stories to the world."

In 1982, one year after graduating from Brooklyn College, Gloria Naylor (b. 1950) made her debut on the literary scene with The Women of Brewster Place. The novel was critically acclaimed, filmed as a made-for-television movie, and turned into a television miniseries. Naylor's output now includes five novels, an edited collection of short stories, two theater projects, and a series of articles, essays, notes, and an unpublished work that combines fiction and nonfiction.

Conversations with Gloria Naylor collects her interviews and shows her to be one of the most talented novelists to emerge in the past twenty years. The fourteen interviews that are included range from 1983, soon after the publication of her first novel, to 2000, following the publication of The Men of Brewster Place. Altogether they shed light on Naylor in all her wit, wisdom, and candor. She is the first among the current generation of African American women novelists to have made a study of her literary predecessors. Interviews with her are compelling in their revelation of the evolutionary journey of a self-professed introvert and dreamer who is as indebted to the English classics as she is to blues, jazz, or Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye.

An indispensable resource for a study of Naylor's life and art, Conversations with Gloria Naylor offers rare insight into works that are in the vanguard of contemporary American literature.

Maxine Lavon Montgomery, is an associate professor of English at Florida State University and the author of The Apocalypse in African-American Fiction. Her work has been published in African-American Review, College Language Association Journal, the Literary Griot, and Obsidian II: African-American Literature in Review.

224 pp.