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Multicultural Literature of the United States: Reference
Sources

This guide contains tips and strategies for locating biographical and critical information on American writers grouped by ethnicity (e.g., African-American, Jewish-American, etc.), as well a bibliography of resources, both in print and online.

Maxine Hong Kingston

Reference Sources for Multicultural Literature

Print & Online Reference Sources

Literature Resource Center
A full-text literature database designed for the undergraduate student. Combines biographical, bibliographical, and contextual information on authors and their works (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, history, and journalism). Draws from several Gale resources (such as the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Contemporary Authors and Contemporary Literary Criticism) and scholarly journals, and includes Merriam-Webster's encyclopedia of literature.

Literature Online
A full-text collection of poetry, drama, and prose with complementary references sources. Primary texts include English poetry from 600 to the present; American and African-American poetry from 1603 to the present; English drama; English prose; articles, monographs and dissertations from the Annual bibliography of English language and literature (ABELL); full-text articles from literary journals; and biographical information on widely studied authors.

Minority Literatures (Voice of the Shuttle)

Literary Resources - Ethnicities and Nationalities (Rutgers)

Contemporary American Ethnic Poets: Lives, Works, Sources, edited by Linda Cullum. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2004. Olin Ref PS153 M56 C66 2004+
Contains personal and professional information on 75 American poets, including their major works, thematic concerns, and selected bibliographies of secondary sources. A list of poets by ethnicity is provided.

Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America.2nd ed. 3 vols. Contributing editor, Robert von Dassanowsky ; edited by Jeffrey Lehman. Detroit: Gale Group, 1999. Olin Ref E 184 A1 G14x 1999
An alphabetically arranged compendium of relatively substantive, signed articles on nearly 150 ethnic and cultural populations residing in the United States. Each provides an overview of the group's history in its native country; its immigration and settlement patterns in the U.S.; its traditions, customs, beliefs, language, religion, political heritage, and social dynamics. Brief bibliographies, as well as addresses of relevant organizations, media outlets and research centers, are included. Illustrated and indexed. Contents: v. 1. Acadians-Garifuna Americans, v. 2. Georgian Americans-Ojibwa, v. 3. Oneidas-Yupiat.

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature, edited by Emmanuel S. Nelson. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, c2005. 5 vols. Olin Ref PS153.M56 G74 2005+
"Included are more than 1100 alphabetically arranged entries by more than 300 scholars. While most of the entries are on individual writers, others cover seminal works, ethnic stereotypes, literary genres, the writings of particular ethnic groups, places that are prominent in ethnic histories, major historical events, key pieces of legislation affecting ethnic populations, and various other topics that form the social context surrounding multiethnic American literature." - publisher.

Multicultural Writers Since 1945: an A-to-Z Guide, edited by Albe Amoia and Bettina L. Knapp. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2004. Olin Ref PN452 M88 2004 +
The end of World War II led to increased interest in multicultural concerns and a flourishing of literary and artistic endeavors...[and] was also a time of decolonization and the emergence of new nations and cultures clamoring for recognition and respect. The political circumstances following World War II exposed many people to other cultures. This reference discusses the experiences of writers active since 1945 who were shaped by cultures other than their own. Includes bibliographical references (p. [549]-561) and index. (Publisher's description)

New Immigrant Literatures in the United States. A Sourcebook to Our Multicultural Literary Heritage. Knippling, Alpana Sharma, ed., Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996. Olin Ref PS 153 M56 N53 1996
Presents a critical introduction to post-World War II immigrant literatures of the United States, including work by Asian-American, Caribbean-American, European-American, and Mexican-American writers. Sections provide a literary-cultural histories for each group, a summaries of dominant concerns of major authors, and extensive primary and secondary bibliographies. A great starting point for locating criticism on writers and literary works about which relatively little has been written.

Peck, David R. American Ethnic Literatures: Native American, African American, Chicano/Latino, and Asian American Writers and their Backgrounds: An Annotated Bibliography. Pasadena: Salem, 1992. Olin Ref Z1229 E87 P36 1992
A focused yet thorough annotated bibliography of primary and secondary works related to the four groups noted in the title, including background material such as brief narrative histories. Identifies major journals in the field, and lists individual authors and their works by race/ ethnicity.

Writers of Multicultural Fiction for Young Adults : a Bio- critical Sourcebook. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1996. (Olin stacks PS 374 Y57 W75x 1996)
Aims to "help scholars, teachers, and librarians choose significant texts from both the past and present, and provides guidance in approaching multicultural issues as they are discussed in fiction for young adults. Included are entries for 51 writers, some of whom have nearly been forgotten, others who are just emerging. Each entry provides biographical, critical, and bibliographical information, while a general bibliography of works on multicultural literature concludes the book." (Publisher)