Bell, Bernard W. “Ann Petry’s Demythologizing of American Culture and Afro-American Character.” In Conjuring: Black Women, Fiction, and the Literary Tradition, edited by Marjorie Pryse and Hortense Spillers. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985. Discusses the ways in which Petry’s portrayal of characters in her fiction, especially The Narrows, “debunks” certain myths in American society. Innocence and virtue are not always indigenous to the small-town environment.
Bontemps, Arna. “The Line.” Saturday Review 36 (August 22, 1953): 11. Bontemps concedes that Petry’s The Narrows is “a novel about Negroes by a Negro novelist and concerned . . . with racial conflict.” This initial critical comment on the novel has served as a point of departure for later interpretations of this complex work.
Ervin, Hazel A. Ann Petry: A Bio-Bibliography. New York: G. K. Hall, 1993. A comprehensive compilation of reviews, analytical articles, and interviews with Petry. A brief introductory essay is followed by Ervin’s annotations of the chronological list of primary and secondary sources. A valuable reference for studying Petry’s work.
Gates, Henry Louis, ed. Ann Petry: Critical Perspectives Past and Present. New York: Amistad Press, 1998. This collection of essays by...
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