Terry McMillan: A Critical Companion

Terry McMillan: A Critical Companion

Terry McMillan: A Critical Companion

Terry McMillan: A Critical Companion

Synopsis

The tremendous universal appeal of Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale took the book world by storm. With her third novel finally earning her the recognition and respect she richly deserved, Terry McMillan followed up with How Stella Got Her Groove Back, which continued to attract new and loyal fans from all walks of life. In this critical work Richards places these inspirational works, as well as McMillan's earlier writings, in their deserved cultural and literary context. Richards offers an insightful analysis of McMillan's narrative technique, which, while having roots in the blues aesthetic, has created a voice that sings out to readers across the lines of sex and race. McMillan's stories are inhabited by strong, dynamic African American women, yet these characters have universal lessons of life and love to share with all readers who appreciate good fiction.

Excerpt

The authors who appear in the series Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers are all best-selling writers. They do not simply have one successful novel, but a string of them. Fans, critics, and specialist readers eagerly anticipate their next book. For some, high cash advances and breakthrough sales figures are automatic; movie deals often follow. Some writers become household names, recognized by almost everyone.

But, their novels are read one by one. Each reader chooses to start and, more importantly, to finish a book because of what she or he finds there. The real test of a novel is in the satisfaction its readers experience. This series acknowledges the extraordinary involvement of readers and writers in creating a best-seller.

The authors included in this series were chosen by an Advisory Board composed of high school English teachers and high school and public librarians. They ranked a list of best-selling writers according to their popularity among different groups of readers. For the first series, writers in the top-ranked group who had received no book-length, academic, literary analysis (or none in at least the past ten years) were chosen. Because of this selection method, Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers meets a need that is being addressed nowhere else. The success of these volumes as reported by reviewers, librarians, and teachers led to an expansion of the series mandate to include some writ-

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