AN INTRODUCTORY COMMENT
By William R. Ferris
The chairman of the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities reflects briefly on the theme of this Electronic Journal.
MULTICULTURAL LITERATURE IN THE UNITED STATES: ADVENT AND PROCESS
By John Lowe
In this overview, the author, a university professor of language and literature, traces the growth and development of this body of literature in the United States, from the pre-colonial period through the early months of the 21st century.
CHILDREN OF AL-MAHJAR: ARAB AMERICAN LITERATURE SPANS A CENTURY
By Elmaz Abinader
Is Arab American literature a new phenomenon, or rather one caught up in a renaissance of themes and possibilities? The author, a first generation American of Lebanese extraction, is a professor of creative writing and a noted poet, novelist and performance artist. An accompanying profile outlines Abinader's career, and a series of brief sketches introduces other prominent Arab American writers.
ASIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE: LEAVENING THE MOSAIC
By Shirley Geok-lin Lim
The range of achievement in literature by Asian American writers speaks to the diversity of thematic concerns that parallels contemporary homogeneity of this multicultural group, writes the author, a Malaysian-born U.S. university professor. An accompanying profile describes the work of a gifted Korean American novelist, Chang-rae Lee. Other noteworthy Asian American writers are briefly sketched.
BLACK AMERICAN LITERATURE AT YEAR 2000: A NEW PRESENCE
By Robert B. Stepto
During the past couple of decades, black American writers have been exploring new landscapes and themes, and, in the process, are reaching new audiences. In this article, the author, a professor of African American studies, American studies and English at Yale University, analyzes this growing impact. The contributions of African American novelist-essayist John Edgar Wideman to the field of U.S. literature are reviewed in an accompanying profile, along with thumbnail sketches of other contemporary African American writers.
HISPANIC AMERICAN LITERATURE: DIVERGENCE AND COMMONALITY
By Virgil Suarez
Hispanic American literature is rich, diverse and constantly growing today, blending the history that infuses it with an impassioned feeling of contemporaneity. In this article, the author, a Cuban American novelist and educator, describes the various strands within this literary category and each one's distinctive properties. An accompanying profile focuses on the career of Dominican American novelist-memoirist Julia Alvarez. Several brief sketches describe the work of other Hispanic American authors.
NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE: REMEMBRANCE, RENEWAL
By Geary Hobson
The expansion of creativity and interest in Native American literature is more renascence than "boom," more a steady evolution and continuance that is more concerned today with sovereignty than identity, writes the author, a university professor, poet and essayist of Cherokee-Quapaw heritage. An accompanying profile focuses on the career of Native American poet Linda Hogan, and a series of brief biographies describes the work of other Native American authors.
Writers from across the multicultural spectrum reflect upon diversity in literature in general and the particular influences on, and sensibilities of, their own life and work.
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND INTERNET SITES
U.S. Society & Values
USIA Electronic Journal
Volume 5, Number 1, February 2000