Bell, Bernard. “Ann Petry’s Demythologizing of American Culture and Afro-American Character.” In Conjuring: Black Women, Fiction, and Literary Tradition, edited by Marjorie Pryse and Hortense J. Spillers. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985. An argument for moving Petry out of the shadow of male contemporaries like Richard Wright to permit her fiction the proper reevaluation it deserves.
Clark, Keith. “A Distaff Dream Deferred? Ann Petry and the Art of Subversion.” African-American Review 26 (Fall, 1992): 495-505. A study of Petry’s interest in the ways black women respond to the American Dream while subverting it to their own ends.
Ervin, Hazel Arnett, and Hilary Holladay, eds. Ann Petry’s Short Fiction: Critical Essays. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2004. A collection of essays addressing Petry’s less well studied short stories, including issues of gender, race, and folklore.
Gross, Theodore. “Ann Petry: The Novelist as Social Critic.” In Black Fiction: New Studies in the Afro-American Novel Since 1945, edited by A. Robert Lee. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1980. A discussion of Petry’s strong commitment to an aesthetic of social realism that puts art in the service of political, economic, and societal transformation and justice.
Hernton, Calvin. “The Significance of Ann Petry.” In The Sexual Mountain and Black Women Writers. New York: Doubleday, 1987. An analysis of the relationship between Petry’s fiction and that of contemporary black women writers, particularly in its wedding of social protest and violence.
Washington, Gladys. “A World Made Cunningly: A Closer Look at Ann Petry’s Short Fiction.” College Language Association Journal 30 (September, 1986): 14-29. A critical argument for tracing Petry’s important themes and their evolving nuances through her understudied short stories.
Wilson, Mark. “A MELUS Interview: Ann Petry—The New England Connection.” MELUS 15 (Summer, 1988): 71-84. A discussion with Petry about her early life and the first decades of her writing career.