Title page for ETD etd-08272004-080427

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Bryant, Cynthia Downing
Author's Email Address cdowni1@lsu.edu
URN etd-08272004-080427
Title Storytelling from the Margins: The Healing Narratives of J. California Cooper
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
John W. Lowe Committee Chair
JoAnn Marx Committee Member
John R. May Committee Member
Nghana Lewis Committee Member
Mary J. Brody Dean's Representative
  • african american intimacy
  • african american mothers
  • african american fathers
  • passing
Date of Defense 2004-08-03
Availability unrestricted
This study examines the therapeutic qualities of selected short stories and novels by contemporary African American woman writer, J. California Cooper. Specifically, I examine the manner in which Cooper's texts can be appreciated as "healing narratives." Healing narratives, as defined in this study, are those texts in which the author consciously creates fictitious representations of reality, while employing the concept of hope as a central and guiding factor. Those aspects of the narrative that have the ability to heal or "lay hands on" a reader vary because the effectiveness of the story depends upon how well the reader can identify with the protagonist's journey toward self-actualization. In addition to illuminating the therapeutic aspects of Cooper's fiction, I also examine her use of black oral performance and storytelling.
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