The Elizabeth Keckley Reader, Vol. 1: Writing Self, Writing Nation

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Eno Publishers
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5.9 X 0.8 X 8.9 inches | 0.9 pounds
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About the Author

Dr. Sheila Smith McKoy is the Editor of the Elizabeth Keckley Reader series. She is chair of English at Kinnesaw State University. A poet, literary critic, and fiction writer, she has published in numerous publications including the critically acclaimed Schomburg series African American Women Writers 1910-1940, Callaloo, Contours, Journal of Ethnic American Literature, Obsidian, and Valley Voices. Her book, When Whites Riot received critical attention internationally. She has recently completed a book of poetry. As a poet, prosist and critic, she has worked extensively in the fields of African, African American, Afro-Caribbean, and other African-descent literatures.

LYNN DOMINA is Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities, Social Science, and Individual Studies at SUNY-Delhi. She has published articles on Zora Neale Hurston, Mary McCarthy, N. Scott Momaday, and others. Her first book of poetry, Corporal Works, was published in 1995.

Michele Elam is Professor of English at Stanford University, California. She is an affiliate with the Michelle R. Clayman Insitute for Gender Studies, African and African American Studies, and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Elam is the author of Race, Work, and Desire in American Literature, 1860-1930 and The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millennium, and is currently working on editing a critical mixed race studies reader.


The Elizabeth Keckley Reader, a magnificent collection of creative and scholarly works, examines and honors the heroic life of a courageous and defiant African American woman who overcame slavery, economic privation, and brutal physical punishment to free herself, own her being, speak with her own voice, and lead an independent life as entrepreneur, educator, and civic leader. Elizabeth Keckley's remarkable autobiography reveals the anguished connection between black and white lives in nineteenth-century America with focus on her uncommon relationship with President Abraham Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. This evocative and erudite collection speaks to women everywhere for it lays bare the soul of an unforgettable woman whose indomitable spirit caused her to rise again and again to face whatever comes, to take the journey, to show the way, and to make her contribution to life and to history.

--Barbara Paul-Emile, PhD, Maurice E. Goldman Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences, Professor of English, Bentley University

The writer has produced the first of her two-part work on Elizabeth Keckley, resulting in a compelling account of a strong and determined slave girl whose contributions in later life sealed her legacy. As Sheila Smith McKoy notes, Keckley refused to be "erased" from history and became an entrepreneur of enduring fame. She also takes her place among the nineteenth-century black women writers of acclaim.

--Jessie Carney Smith, Dean of the Library and Camille Cosby Distinguished Chair in the Humanities, Fisk University

Presented in a series of two volumes, the Elizabeth Keckley Reader breaks new ground in recovering late nineteenth-century texts and contexts, and promotes literary historical inquiry by way of essays, poetry, and drama contributed by an impressive group of scholars. Indeed, the Keckley Reader is an innovative project, a crucial contribution to ongoing studies of African American autobiographical acts and American culture.

--Jerry W. Ward Jr., author of The Katrina Papers: A Journal of Trauma and Recovery, Trouble the Water, Black Southern Voices, and The Richard Wright Encyclopedia