Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Missy Dehn Kubitschek  

Pen Name: None

Genre:

Born: in Effingham, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Missy Kubitschek received her BA from Carleton College and her M. A and Ph. D. from the University of Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Ms. Kubitschek is a Professor of English at Indiana University and also serves as Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of English.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Toni Morrison: A Critical Companion (Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers)
ISBN: 0313302650

Greenwood. 1998

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, Toni Morrison is among our most distinguished contemporary novelists. Morrison describes herself as a black woman novelist, and all her novels deal with African American characters and communities. Exploring the entire cycle of human life in a spiritual context, her novels are also universal in their depiction of families, especially mothers and their children. From her first novel, The Bluest Eye, to her most recent, Paradise, Toni Morrison has explored the African American experience, and by extension, the human experience. Her characters linger in our minds long after we have finished reading the novel. This is the only book-length study to discuss all of Morrison's novels published to date.

This study analyzes in turn each of Morrison's novels. It also provides the reader with a complete bibliography of her writings, as well as selected reviews and criticism. Following a biographical chapter on Toni Morrison's life, Kubitschek discusses Morrison's writing in the tradition not only of African American literature but of the great modernist and postmodernist American writers. Each of the following chapters examines an individual novel: The Bluest Eye (1970), Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), Tar Baby (1981), Beloved (1987), Jazz (1992), and Paradise (1998). The discussion of each novel features sections on plot and character development, narrative structure, thematic issues, and an alternative critical approach from which to read the novel. Written specifically for high school and college students and general readers, this study illuminates and enriches the reading of Morrison's novels.

Claiming the Heritage: African-American Women Novelists and History
ISBN: 0878054758

Univ Pr of Mississippi. 2001

Nearly all black female novelists of twentieth-century America have found the essential substance of their art in one source---the history of black women in America.

With great range and in many voices their works convey a search for identity in the modern world. Their novels have been shaped as women, cut off psychically and physically from family and community, finding this identity through the perspectives of historical experience.

In Claiming the Heritage, Missy Dehn Kubitschek writes the first full-length book on the subject of black women novelists and the heritage they discovered in the shaping of their art. From the examples of works by such acclaimed authors as Toni Morrison, Sherley Anne Williams, Zora Neale Hurston, Gloria Naylor, Jessie Fauset, Gayl Jones, and Octavia Butler, she represents the communal black experience from 1600 to the present as a great call to which these novelists have responded.

Her book demonstrates that coming to terms with history of slavery and oppression is the fundamental necessity for the construction of a tenable black female identity.

The concern with history characterizes not only contemporary fiction such as Sherely Anne Williams's slave narrative Dessa Rose and Toni Morrison's Beloved but also earlier novels such as Nella Larsen's Quicksand and Zora Neal Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. It is a unifying theme which defines the tradition of the African-American woman's novel. This tradition consistently reasserts the necessity of knowing both intellectually and emotionally the history of blacks in America in order for one to become a fully black woman.

This book is not about conformity but about a continuing theme of great range. The author likens the subject of this study to a jazz chorale of black women improvising individually on the theme of black history and female identity.

Building on the insights of Mary Helen Washington, Barbara Christian, and Hazel Carby, Kubitschek's careful readings of twentieth-century literature by African-American women synthesizes feminist and Afro-centric perspectives.


Awards

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