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Black Women Writers at Work edited by Claudia Tate
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Black Women Writers at Work edited by Claudia Tate


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A critical collection of conversations with Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Gayl Jones and other Black women writers that changed the scope of Black literature in the 20th century and beyond.

“Black women writers and critics are acting on the old adage that one must speak for oneself if one wishes to be heard.” —Claudia Tate, from the introduction

Long out of print, Black Women Writers at Work is a vital contribution to Black literature in the 20th century. 

Through candid interviews with Maya Angelou, Toni Cade Bambara, Gwendolyn Brooks, Alexis De Veaux, Nikki Giovanni, Kristin Hunter, Gayl Jones, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Sonia Sanchez, Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, Margaret Walker, and Sherley Anne Williams, the book highlights the practices and critical linkages between the work and lived experiences of Black women writers whose work laid the foundation for many who have come after.


Responding to questions about why and for whom they write, and how they perceive their responsibility to their work, to others, and to society, the featured playwrights, poets, novelists, and essayists provide a window into the connections between their lives and their art.

Finally available for a new generation, this classic work has an urgent message for readers and writers today.