African American women writers have made an enormous contribution to our culture. Many of these authors wrote during the Harlem Renaissance, a particularly vital time in African American arts and letters, while others have been especially active since the 1970s, an era in which works by African American women are adapted into films and are widely read in book clubs. Literature by African American women is important for its aesthetic qualities, and it also illuminates the social issues which these authors have confronted. This book conveniently surveys the lives and works of African American women writers. Included are alphabetically arranged entries on more than 150 African American women novelists, poets, playwrights, short fiction writers, autobiographers, essayists, and influential scholars. Some of these figures, such as Toni Morrison and Gloria Naylor, are among the most popular authors writing today, while others have been largely neglected or are recently emerging. Among the authors covered are: BL Marita Bonner BL Annie Louise Burton BL Pearl Cleage BL Michelle Cliff BL Lucille Clifton BL Jayne Cortez BL Mari Evans BL Jarena Lee BL Diane Oliver BL Henrietta Cordelia Ray BL Shay Youngblood BL And many more. Each entry provides a biography, a discussion of major works, a survey of the writer's critical reception, and primary and secondary bibliographies. The Encyclopedia closes with a selected, general bibliography. Students and general readers will welcome this guide to the rich achievement of African American women. Literature students will value its exploration of the works of these writers, while social studies students will appreciate its examination of the social issuesthese women confront in their works. FEATURES AND BENEFITS: BL Includes entries on more than 150 African American women novelists, poets, playwrights, autobiographers, essayists, influential scholars, and short fiction writers. BL Provides a selected, general bibliography. BL Includes alphabetical and chronological lists of authors. BL Lists authors according to the genres in which they worked. BL Lists winners of major literary awards. BL Helps literature students understand the contribution of women writers to African American literature. BL Helps literature students understand work in different genres. BL Helps social studies students gain greater understanding of African American culture. BL Promotes respect for cultural diversity. Note that the present book complements, rather than competes with, Writing African American Women: BL Writing African American Women includes entries on male writers. This book includes entries only on women writers. BL Writing African American Women includes relatively short entries on a large number of African American women writers. This book includes longer entries on a smaller number of writers. BL Writing African American Women includes entries on themes, historical events, stereotypes, and other topics. This book provides only biographical entries. BL Writing African American Women examines the representation of women across all of African American literature, including works by men. This book looks only at the work of women writers. BL Writing African American Women does not provide standardized information in its biogaphical entries. This book provides standardized information in its entries, with each entry offering a biography, a discussion ofmajor works, and primary and secondary bibliographies.