Friday, March 3, 2023

Different Types of Anthologies

9 Different Anthology Types

A recognition of the multiple anthology types reveals the many contexts through which Black short fiction has circulated over several decades. To distinguish the various collections that publish black short stories, I identified nine types of anthologies.
Comprehensive African American Anthologies chart the field of African American literature from “the beginnings” to present day. Examples of these collections, such as The Negro Caravan (1941), The New Cavalcade: African American Writing from 1760 to the Present (1991), and Call & Response Anthology (1997), include poetry, novel excepts, and short stories.

Comprehensive American collections chart the field of American literature from “the beginnings” to present day. Historically, these anthologies privileged white writers and literary traditions, though editors have diversified selections in recent decades. The Heath Anthology of American Literature (1990), Harper American Literature (1993), and The Bedford Anthology of American Literature (2014), constitute some of the anthologies in this category.

Short Story Black Collections are exclusively devoted to short stories by black writers such as From the Roots: Short Stories by Black Americans (1970), What We Must See: Young Black Storytellers (1971), and Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Fiction (1990).

Short Story General Collections contain stories by writers from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds such as The Art of the Short Story (2005), Fiction 100: an Anthology of Short Fiction (2012), and The Oxford Book of American Short Stories (2013).

Special Topics Harlem Renaissance Collections specialize on the Harlem Renaissance era and include anthologies such as The New Negro (1925), Voices from the Harlem Renaissance (1976), and The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader (1994).

Special Topics Black Women Writers Collections focus only on black women’s writing and include anthologies such as The Black Woman: An Anthology (1970), The Sleeper Wakes: Harlem Renaissance Stories by Women (1993), and Revolutionary Tales: African American Women's Short Stories, From the First Story to the Present (1995).
Special Topics Black Literature Collections contain writings by black writers focusing on distinct genres or on special topics such as mystery, sci-fi, black identity with anthologies such as A Native Son Reader (1970), The Opportunity Reader (1999), and Gumbo: a celebration of African American writing (2002).

Special topics Women Writers Collections are devoted to works by women from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. Women Working: An Anthology of Stories and Poems and The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women (1985) are included in this category.

Special Topics General Collections are multiple genre collections that contain both American and international writers. The Riverside Anthology of Literature (1996) and Literature Across Cultures (1998) are included in this category. 

This entry is part of a series--A Notebook on The Geographies of African American Short Stories.

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