Writing across the Color Line
U.S. Print Culture and the Rise of Ethnic Literature, 1877-1920
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Writing across the Color Line details how this body of literature was selected for publication, edited, manufactured, advertised, and distributed, even as it faced hostile criticism and frequent misinterpretation by white readers. Shedding light on the transformative potential of multiethnic literature and the tenacity of racist attitudes that dominated the literary marketplace, Dietrich proves that Native American, African American, Latinx, Asian American, and Irish American writers of the period relied on self-caricature, tricksterism, and the careful control of authorial personae to influence white audiences.
"Writing across the Color Line makes a significant contribution to the fields of American literature (especially American literary realism, but also modernism), print culture, and multiethnic literature. The fact that Dietrich uses examples from different ethnic literary traditions is a real strength of this book."—Lori Harrison-Kahan, author of The White Negress: Literature, Minstrelsy, and the Black-Jewish Imaginary
"Dietrich adds to our understanding of some now-canonical authors in the field of multiethnic literature at the turn of the century, as well as our understanding of lesser-known authors, by bringing to bear extensive archival work."—Eric Aronoff, author of Composing Cultures: Modernism, American Literary Studies, and the Problem of Culture
"With the backing of some impressive archival research, Dietrich looks at the acquisition, editing, design, production, marketing, distribution, and reception of the books he has selected. This is a productive approach, and in this particular study it yields excellent results."—The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America