Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Black Interior: Essays” as Want to Read:
The Black Interior: Essays
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Black Interior: Essays

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  35 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
With a poet's precision and an intellectually adventurous spirit, Elizabeth Alexander explores a wide spectrum of contemporary African American artistic life through literature, paintings, popular media, and films, and discusses its place in current culture. In The Black Interior, she examines the vital roles of such heavyweight literary figures as Gwendolyn Brooks, Langst ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Graywolf Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Black Interior, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Black Interior

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 129)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Anna
Mar 06, 2011 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, nonfiction
See my full review here: http://isak.typepad.com/isak/2011/03/...

Poet Elizabeth Alexander situates her first collection of essays, The Black Interior (Graywolf Press) at the question of what the creative inner lives of African-American people looks like, separate from the overlay of stereotypes, presumption, and "limited imagination." It is a broad topic, the kind of question that spills liquidly over the edge of the table; I entered the inner life of this book with skepticism (and intrigue) abo
...more
Phillip
Jul 28, 2011 Phillip rated it liked it
the book was a kind of interesting cultural/aesthetic/political survey, but I have significant problems with the essentialist concepts that inform Alexander's work. She has this technique of simultaneously disavowing essentialism in publications like Jet magazine, and using an essentialist rhetoric of "black experience," "black reactions," "black lifestyles," and claiming a fundamental difference between white reactions and black reactions to something like Rodney King--Alexander claims a certai ...more
Terry
Jan 14, 2009 Terry rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in the breadth of American culture including the contributions of Black artists
Recommended to Terry by: I went looking for it when I learned that Elizabeth Alexander wo
Literary criticism, art criticism, these are not genres that usually inspire hyperbole. The language is almost always that of academia. But Alexander has drawn out the themes and ideas from both well known and little known black artists, primarily writers, that are both stridently part of the Black American (African American) culture and yet cross over often into universality. She quotes Langston Hughes in one essay, just for example, that "poets are lyric historians" and extrapolates from there ...more
Jane Alberdeston
Aug 07, 2007 Jane Alberdeston rated it it was amazing
I found this book especially useful/helpful in my coursework and for my students. The essay on poet Gwendolyn Brooks (Alexander is a Brooks scholar) was fantastic! One of my students, after reading this essay, decided to write about Brooks for her final research paper. It helped me, it helped my students.
Julene
May 21, 2015 Julene rated it it was amazing
I loved the essays in this book. She carries forth the rich history of jazz and writing and how they combine. The book is full of history every American should know. She is a scholar, a historian who brings it forth to poetry with jazz as her underbeat.
Tara Betts
I've read the opening essay, which really pulled me in. I need to come back to it when I unpack my books.
Amanda E.
Amanda E. marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2016
Sarah
Sarah marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2016
Kerry
Kerry marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2016
Rick
Rick rated it liked it
Sep 25, 2016
Lashunda Hill
Lashunda Hill marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2016
Pat Winter
Pat Winter marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2016
Jennifer
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Aug 02, 2016
Rebecca H.
Rebecca H. marked it as to-read
Jul 05, 2016
Navi
Navi added it
Sep 05, 2016
Byron
Byron marked it as to-read
Jun 29, 2016
Greg
Greg marked it as to-read
Jun 16, 2016
Laura Lyons
Laura Lyons marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2016
Arman Sayani
Arman Sayani rated it really liked it
May 26, 2016
Marissa
Marissa marked it as to-read
May 24, 2016
Allegra
Allegra marked it as to-read
May 21, 2016
Emma
Emma rated it really liked it
May 12, 2016
Elaina
Elaina marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2016
LiJia
LiJia marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2016
Laura
Laura marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2016
Lucia Kelly
Lucia Kelly marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2016
Christian Kerven Salazar
Christian Kerven Salazar marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2016
Annie
Annie marked it as to-read
Apr 04, 2016
Katie
Katie marked it as to-read
Mar 14, 2016
Jbondandrews
Jbondandrews marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
17148
Elizabeth Alexander is a Quantrell Award-winning American poet, essayist, playwright, university professor, and scholar of African-American literature and culture. She teaches English language/literature, African-American literature, and gender studies at Yale University. Alexander was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard during the 2007-08 academic year.

Alexander's po
...more
More about Elizabeth Alexander...

Share This Book



“Using the voice is a physical act, one that first announces the existence of the body of residence and then trumpets its arrival in a public space.” 6 likes
More quotes…