Regionalism and Local Color in Short Fiction Criticism: Regionalism/Local Color Fiction Of The South - Essay

Robert Bone (essay date 1975)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Bone, Robert. Down Home: A History of Afro-American Short Fiction from Its Beginnings to the End of the Harlem Renaissance, New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1975, 328 p.

[In the following excerpt, Bone examines regional literature written by African American authors in the American South particularly the fiction of Joel Chandler Harris and Charles W. Chesnutt.]


When Chesnutt and Dunbar turned to story-writing in the 1880's and 1890's, they were not working in a cultural vacuum. The magazines in which they hoped to publish were most receptive to a type of fiction which stressed regional diversity. This emphasis on...

(The entire section is 11277 words.)

Edward J. Piacentino (essay date fall 1986)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Piacentino, Edward J. “The Enigma of Black Identity in Grace King's ‘Joe’” The Southern Literary Journal 19, no. 1 (fall 1986): 56-67.

[In the following essay, Piacentino asserts that King, while depicting the complexities surrounding the identity crisis of an African American slave in the short story“Joe,” in the end clumsily conceals this legacy of slavery in order to appease the dominant Southern community.]

Balcony Stories. Grace King's second volume of short fiction, a book that has been acclaimed her “most artistically accomplished work” (Kirby 47)1, was published by the Century Company in 1893.2 The thirteen...

(The entire section is 5154 words.)

David Steiling (essay date spring 1994)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Steiling, David. “Multi-Cultural Aesthetic in Kate Chopin's ‘A Gentleman of Bayou Teche.’” The Mississippi Quarterly 47, no. 2 (spring 1994): 197-101.

[In the following essay, Steiling discusses Chopin's use of irony to address regional and ethnic stereotypes in “A Gentleman of Bayou Teche.”]

“A Gentleman of Bayou Teche” by Kate Chopin is seldom read and has attracted virtually no critical attention, but the subject and design of this sketch amply demonstrate that its author understood how subcultures can be particularly sensitive to the way they are perceived and recorded by outsiders. This sketch shows that Chopin had thoughtfully considered...

(The entire section is 1308 words.)

Kristina Brooks (essay date summer 1998)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Brooks, Kristina. “Alice Dunbar-Nelson's Local Colors of Ethnicity, Class, and Place.’” MELUS 23, no. 2 (summer 1998): 3-26.

[In the following essay, Brooks examines the secret knowledge of ethnic identity and cultural boundaries that is communicated through coded relationships in Alice Dunbar-Nelson's local color fiction of New Orleans and its surrounding territories.]

Pass Christian, the Bayou St. John, the Bayou Teche, Mandeville, and New Orleans's Third District are just a few of the particular locales in which Alice Dunbar-Nelson anchors her fictional characters' ethnic identities. Through direct addresses to the reader and notations of specific...

(The entire section is 10545 words.)