Virginia Hamilton Additional Biography


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Virginia Hamilton is a writer, teacher, and lecturer whose long list of honored publications and wide variety of literary genres—fiction,...

(The entire section is 531 words.)


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Farrell, Kirby. “Virginia Hamilton’s Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush and the Case for a Radical Existential Criticism.” Contemporary Literature 31, no. 2 (Summer, 1990): 161-176. A detailed analysis from a psychological perspective.

Giovanni, Nikki. Review of M. C. Higgins, the Great, by Virginia Hamilton. The New York Times Book Review, September 22, 1974, 8. Provides an analysis of Hamilton’s appeal, which Giovanni attributes to her realism, her characterization, and her uniting “the forces of hope with the forces of dreams.” A brief but perceptive article.

Hamilton, Virginia. “The Mind of a Novel: The Heart of the Book.” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 8 (Winter, 1983): 10-14. Hamilton emphasizes persistent themes in her works, such as the importance of place and family. Explains her use of language, nonverbal communication, and dialect. A lengthy section on the importance of Africa in her thought and fiction is especially valuable.

Hamilton, Virginia. “Talking with Virginia Hamilton.” Interview by Yolanda Robinson Coles. American Visions 10 (December/January, 1995): 31-32. Hamilton credits her family with being the main source of her stories and storytelling skills. She compares her calling as a storyteller to the griot’s role in African American culture. Provides valuable insight into her work as a whole.

Hamilton, Virginia. “Writing the Source: In Other Words.” The Horn Book Magazine 14 (December, 1978): 609-619. Comments on the genesis of her works, emphasizing the importance of the revision process. Also discusses the genres that appeal to her and makes interesting observations about her relationship to black literature in general.

Mikkelsen, Nina. Virginia Hamilton. New York: Twayne, 1994. The first book-length study of Hamilton’s work. Mikkelsen presents a biographical portrait and then analyzes Hamilton’s fiction, biographies, folklore collections, and fantasy. In-depth literary criticism of each book to 1995 is offered.

Paterson, Katherine. “Family Visions.” The New York Times Book Review, November 14, 1982, 41, 56. A highly laudatory review of Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush. Paterson challenges readers to read the first paragraph of the book and “then stop—if you can.”

Scholl, Kathleen. “Black Traditions in M. C. Higgins, the Great.” Language Arts 17 (April, 1980): 420-424. Drawing on scholarly sources, this essay traces in detail the use of folklore, song, and myth in Hamilton’s novel.

Townsend, John Rowe. “Virginia Hamilton.” In A Sounding of Storytellers. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1979. A thorough overview of Hamilton’s early fiction.