Reimagining Ernest J. Gaines for the 21st Century

deadline for submissions: 
September 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Wanda G Addison
contact email: 

Edited Collection—Reimagining Ernest J. Gaines for the 21st Century

I am seeking a book chapter/essay that takes a scholarly, innovative approach to analyzing Ernest J. Gaines’s recent work, The Tragedy of Brady SimsReimagining Ernest J. Gaines for the 21st Century offers varied perspectives on Gaines’s work in consideration of his place in American Letters outside of honors and awards. It explores Ernest J. Gaines’s novels and short stories with an overarching goal to expand current scholarship on this great American writer and bring Gaines forward to audiences, both scholarly and lay readers, through wide-ranging yet accessible examinations of several of his works. Works focused on in current chapters include The Autobiography of Miss Jane PittmanA Gathering of Old MenOf Love and DustIn My Father’s House, “The Sky is Gray,” and “Bloodline” (short story). 

Although Gaines’s works have been anthologized, widely read, critically analyzed, and well received, and he has been honored with several national and international awards, neither the man nor his writings have been elevated to the stature one might expect in the pantheon of American and African American letters. Similar to James Baldwin, Gaines’ work, though set in rural life, seems perpetually relevant to modern times and issues of place, home, family, and race confronting humanity regardless of location, which speaks to the universality of his writings. Even in the midst of post-modern ambiguity, such engagement with modernist ideals draws on that uncertainty through creating touchpoints of recognition for diverse audiences. 

The manuscript for Reimagining Ernest J. Gaines for the 21st Century is due to the University Press of Mississippi in late Fall 2020. Please send full chapters of approximately 5000 words to Wanda G. Addison (w.g.addison@gmail.com) by September 1, 2020 and include your name, affiliation, e-mail, and phone number.

Editor: Wanda G. Addison, Ph.D., Professor of English, National University, San Diego, CA