The Contemporary African American Novel
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The Contemporary African American Novel

Multiple Cities, Multiple Subjectivities, and Discursive Practices of Whiteness in Everyday Urban Encounters
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E. Lâle Demirtürk
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This book examines how African American novels explore instances of racialization that are generated through discursive practices of whiteness in the interracial social encounters of everyday life. These fictional representations have political significance that explore the possibility of a dialogic communication with the American society at large.
This book examines the post-1990s African American novels, namely the “neo-urban novel,” and develops a new urban discourse for the twenty-first century on how the city, as a social formation, impacts black characters through everyday discursive practices of whiteness. The critique of everyday life in a racial context is important in considering diverse forms of the lived reality of black everyday life in the novelistic representations of the white dominant urban order. African American fictional representations of the city have political significance in that the “neo-urban novel” explores the nature of the American society at large. This book explores the need to understand how whiteness works, what it forecloses, and what it occasionally opens up in everyday life in American society.


Introduction: How Black are Whites in the Age of Obama: Problematizing Normative Spaces in the African American ‘Neo-Urban’ Novel

Chapter One: Alternative “Detection” of Whiteness in Walter Mosley’s L.A.: The Politics of Masquerade in Devil in a Blue Dress (1990)

Chapter Two: Transgressing the Authority of Whiteness in Strategic Spaces of Blackness: Resisting Urban Project of Alterity in Walter Mosley’s Little Scarlet (2004

Chapter Three: Deconstructing the Black Body as Biopolitical Paradigm of the City: “Zones of Indistinction” in John Edgar Wideman’s Two Cities (1998)

Chapter Four: Re-Scripted Performances of Blackness as ‘Parodies of Whiteness’: Discursive Frames of Recognition in Percival Everett’s I am Not Sidney Poitier (2009)

Chapter Five: Contested Terrain of Blackness in “Color-Blind” Spaces of (Racialized) Intersubjectivity: Unmasking Discursive Manifestations of Whiteness in Martha Southgate’s The Fall of Rome (2002)

Chapter Six: Navigations of Embedded Dynamics of Whiteness in the City as Discursive Space: Revisionary Urban Scripts of “Penalized” Blackness in Asha Bandele’s Daughter (2003

Chapter Seven: The (Im)possibilities of Writing the Black Interiority Into DiscursiveTerrain: The Discourse of Failure as Success in Unavailable/Unavoidable Spaces of Whiteness in Michael Thomas’ Man Gone Down (2007
Afterword: Undoing Whiteness or Performing Whiteness Differently : African American Neo-Urban Novel as the Critique of Everyday Life



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