The Chosen Place, the Timeless People Additional Summary

Paule Marshall


(Literary Essentials: African American Literature)

Brathwaite, Edward. “Rehabilitations.” The Critical Quarterly 13 (September, 1971): 173-183. Places Marshall’s work in the literary context of West Indian literature, identifies two main stories (one about Merle, one about Saul and Harriet), and comments on the effects of colonialism, especially on people such as Lyle, who is analyzed in depth.

Christian, Barbara. Black Women Novelists: The Development of a Tradition, 1892-1976. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1980. Regards Bournehills as a character in the novel, examines the characters in terms of their response to the island, comments on the four-part structure of the novel, and dissects the politics of colonialism. Essential for an understanding of the novel.

Kapai, Leela. “Dominant Themes and Technique in Paule Marshall’s Fiction.” CLA Journal 16 (1972): 49-59. Identifies four themes—identity, race, tradition, and sharing—in Marshall’s fiction and traces their development. Contains excellent analysis of Allen’s character.

Keizer, Arlene R. Black Subjects: Identity Formation in the Contemporary Narrative of Slavery. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2004. Includes a chapter analyzing The Chosen Place, the Timeless People from the point of view of Marxist cultural studies as intervening in the discourse of late capitalism.

Lynch, Joy M. “Beyond Recognition:...

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