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The Texture—Gendered, Sexual, Violent—of James Baldwin’s Southern Silences
Ed Pavlić

Spurred on by Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Nickel Boys (2019), which is set in Tallahassee, FL, during the 1950s and 1960s, this essay presents a close-up look at James Baldwin’s visit to Tallahassee in May 1960. Moving between Baldwin’s writings about the South, especially “They Can’t Turn Back,” published by Mademoiselle magazine in August 1960, and subsequent writing about the movement in Tallahassee, and checking off against Whitehead’s fictional treatment, we find a lattice of silences obscuring the names and contributions of Black women. Most importantly, we find that the historic case of the rape of Betty Jean Owens in May 1959, and the subsequent trial that summer, appears neither in Baldwin’s nor Whitehead’s writing about Tallahassee at the time. This essay establishes the missing names of Black women in the places marked and unmarked by Baldwin in his work at the time, and puts the case of Betty Jean Owens on the historical map where it belongs. In so doing, we figure issues of race, gender, sex, and violence for the ways they twist together, ways suppressed in historical (and even some contemporary) writing, ways crucial to our deepening consideration of Baldwin’s work and the history which he drew upon and to which he contributed so profoundly.

James Baldwin Review
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The writers’ perspective
Robert Crawshaw

connection with African-American literature which I read now but I also have a connection with British-based literature, but from a Black perspective’ (SA). In one case, the association between crime fiction and the distinctiveness of black identity is made almost inadvertently (‘as I got older, in my thirties, I was drawn more to Deep South American crime novels [. . .] things with black characters in it or things that involved maybe prejudice and crime’ (KS)). The context is changed but elements of the original form are retained. A distinction can be made between these

in Postcolonial Manchester
The structures of migration in Tales from Firozsha Baag
Peter Morey

characters who inhabit them as almost to constitute a character in their own right: examples include the American deep south in Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses, Joyce’s Dublin, and, here, Mistry’s Firozsha Baag.4 The sequence of stories also sometimes traces the psychological and intellectual development of a particular character from childhood to maturity. Finally, time is often depicted as cyclical rather than linear, with repetition and variation of situations allowing for a deepening of perspective on key themes: in Tales from Firozsha Baag, the stories ‘Squatter’, ‘Lend Me

in Rohinton Mistry
Rewriting history and retreating from trauma in The Plot Against America
David Brauner

. In Roth’s novel, anti-Semitic riots, concentrated in the Deep South and the Midwest, claim the lives of one hundred and twenty-two American Jews: a drop in the ocean when measured against the six million European Jews murdered by the Nazis. Far from being products of a lurid imagination, the mini-pogroms that take place in The Plot Against America seem to be at least partly based on the real-life sporadic outbreaks of anti-Semitic violence that Roth recalls in The 200 Philip Roth Facts taking place during the wartime years when his family vacationed at Bradley

in Philip Roth
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Beckett in black and whiteface
S. E. Gontarski

: ‘It will be a very difficult trip. I picture myself prancing around New York, talking about the theater in Mississippi …. I feel like a vaudeville barker. Exhorting people to pay their dues. Step right up and see the fire next time in Mississippi’ (qtd in Dent et al., 1969 : 8). As Moses goes on: ‘A large part of the excitement generated by the idea for the theater was centered around the fact that it would be integration operating in the deep South, and integration operating in the largely unintegrated American Theater’ ( 1969 : 9). The group's adaptation of

in Beckett’s afterlives