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dc.contributor.authorMoynihan, SB
dc.date.accessioned2019-02-22T16:00:11Z
dc.date.issued2019-01-29
dc.description.abstractThis article puts forward a new model—the literary cakewalk—for reading Ann Petry’s work. In 1958, after having had a number of works of fiction rejected, Petry published her first short story, “Has Anybody Seen Miss Dora Dean?” about an African American butler who committed suicide thirty-three years previously, in The New Yorker. With attention to the proliferation of servant-themed stories in the magazine in the postwar period, I argue that Petry’s story—with its several allusions to cakewalk—itself enacts what Soyica Diggs Colbert terms “the insurgent playfulness at the heart of the cakewalk” (107). As Eric Sundquist contends, the cakewalk “occupied a liminal territory with a significant potential for resistance, a psychological and cultural space in which the racist appropriation of black life in offensive mannerisms gave way to an African American reversal of the stereotype” (277). By mimicking and reproducing the tone of a typical New Yorker “help” story, which were up to that point, composed exclusively by white writers, Petry subtly comments on the world of white privilege depicted in the pages of the magazine and the New Yorker’s often problematic assumptions regarding race and class difference. “Has Anybody Seen Miss Dora Dean?” when read carefully, thus exhibits “the full range of parodic or rebellious nuance” (279) that Sundquist argues is characteristic of both the plantation cakewalk and subsequent cultural and literary renditions of the dance form.en_GB
dc.identifier.citationVol. 44 (1), pp. 1 - 21en_GB
dc.identifier.doi10.1093/melus/mly068
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10871/36031
dc.language.isoenen_GB
dc.publisherOxford University Press (OUP) for Society for the Study of Multi-ethnic Literature of the United Statesen_GB
dc.rights.embargoreasonUnder embargo until 29 January 2021 in compliance with publisher policy
dc.rights© MELUS: The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)en_GB
dc.titleAnn Petry’s Cakewalk: Domestic Workers and The New Yorker at Mid-Centuryen_GB
dc.typeArticleen_GB
dc.date.available2019-02-22T16:00:11Z
dc.identifier.issn0163-755X
dc.descriptionThis is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from OUP via the DOI in this recorden_GB
dc.identifier.journalMELUSen_GB
dc.rights.urihttp://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserveden_GB
dcterms.dateAccepted2018-07-09
rioxxterms.versionAMen_GB
rioxxterms.licenseref.startdate2019-01-30
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Reviewen_GB
refterms.dateFCD2019-02-22T15:27:41Z
refterms.versionFCDAM
refterms.panelDen_GB


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