courtney's Reviews > Dessa Rose

Dessa Rose by Sherley Anne Williams
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's review
Jun 27, 2008

really liked it
Read in July, 2008

i became aware of this in an essay by mae gwendolyn henderson : and immediately wanted to read more of this book. the story-story-within-a-story construct really interesting and effective. we learn this woman's history as she tells it to her captor. henderson's essay underlined the differences between written and spoken language, particularly as that difference relates to african and african-american language and culture. williams' book is a novel and never overtly asks the same questions, but having read henderson's essay first, i am very aware of the heavy baggage carried by a white character who writes and a black character who speaks. the novel continues on to align escaped slaves with an abandoned white woman and her two children together the slaves and the woman posing as their mistress work to subvert white, male power. again reinforcing the rift between those who write the story down and those who make it up or tell it. highly recommended.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Niki Hello,
Thanks for posting the link to the essay. I am rather new to Goodreads, and this was the first post I found to be particularly helpful to my role as an educator. I am not sure if I will teach this novel, but the source you provided will be a helpful tool if I do.

message 2: by Kat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kat Cool-- Prof Henderson is my English professor and we're reading this in her class! Thanks for posting that link!

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