Rocque, has attracted considerably more praise. In these stories, critics have found compelling ethnic portraits, frank portrayals of the frustrations experienced by many turn-of-the-century women, and even, as Elizabeth Ammons recently argued, a subtle, carnivalesque treatment of sexual and racial identities ( Ammons61-71).
Critics from Dunbar-Nelson's era to our own have observed that description was one of her strengths, handling plots one of her weaknesses. Her failed attempts at novels highlight this problem. In addition, she has been--and still is--criticized for maintaining a misguided division between her imaginative literature and her own historically specific experiences of racism. New readings of her work, however, suggest that she did not fully excise complex issues such as race from her fiction--even when her narratives suggest, on the surface, that she has done just that. Unfortunately, Dunbar-Nelson's diary and her extensive and spirited journalistic work have received less attention than her stories. They remain largely unexplored, despite their obvious value to literary critics and historians interested in constructing a picture of American life and letters that more accurately reflects the diversity of the American experience.
Ammons, Elizabeth. Conflicting Stories: American Women Writers at the Turn into the Twentieth Century. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Dunbar-Nelson, Alice. An Alice Dunbar-Nelson Reader. Edited by R. Ora Williams. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1978.
-----. Give Us Each Day: The Diary of Alice Dunbar-Nelson. Edited by Gloria T. Hull . New York: W. W. Norton, 1984.
-----. The Works of Alice Dunbar-Nelson. Edited by Gloria T. Hull. 3 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
Hull, Gloria T. C olor, Sex, and Poetry: Three Women Writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.
Violets and Other Tales. Boston: Monthly Review Press, 1895.
The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Co., 1899.
"The Author's Evening at Home." The Smart Set ( September 1900): 105-106.
Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence. Edited by Alice Dunbar-Nelson. Harrisburg, PA: Douglass Publishing Co., 1914.
"Mine Eyes Have Seen." Crisis 15 ( 1918): 271-275.
The Dunbar Speaker and Entertainer. Edited by Alice Dunbar-Nelson. Naperville, IL: J. L. Nichols, 1920.
An Alice Dunbar-Nelson Reader. Edited by R. Ora Williams. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1978.