Marginalized-Literature-Market-Life: Black Writers, a Literature of Appeal and the Rise of Street Lit

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This dissertation examines the relationship of the American publishing industry to Black American writers, with special focus on the re-emergence of the street lit sub-genre. Understanding this much maligned sub-genre is necessary if we are to understand the evolution of African-American literature, especially into the current era. Literature is best understood as a combinative process, produced not only by writers but various mediating figures and processes besides, at the combined levels of content, commercial production and distribution, and social and literary context. Therefore, offered here is a critical intervention into what has until now largely been a moralistic and polarizing high art/low art argument by considering street lit within the vast flows of literature by and about Black Americans, writing about urban areas, the market forces at work within the publishing industry and the writer's place in the midst of it all.


The author's dissertation was submitted as a requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in English at the University of California, Riverside.


English and Comparative Literature