Clarence Major

For over forty years, Clarence Major (b. 1936) has engaged in several artistic and literary pursuits, garnering acclaim for his paintings, edited anthologies, poetry collections, essays, and novels.

His work within literature ranges from his popular dictionary of slang, Juba to Jive: A Dictionary of African-American Slang, to such experimental novels as Emergency Exit, Reflex and Bone Structure, and My Amputations. He has gained a reputation as one of America's most visionary and experimental African-American writers.


Such Was the Season Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780807128657
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Published: Louisiana State University Press - April 1st, 2003

One Flesh Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780758204738
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Published: Kensington - November 1st, 2003

Waiting for Sweet Betty Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781556591792
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Published: Copper Canyon Press - October 1st, 2002

In Waiting for Sweet Betty, Major watches the world with careful longing to capture the exchanges and conflicts between person and place. Just as a painter juxtaposes colors and shapes, Major does the same with words, often writing as an outsider in foreign places. He shifts perspective away from the self, allowing words to play off one another subtly -- with puns, inverted/subverted cliches, and sweet bop soundings -- so that his vision might become anyone's. His subtle, conversational style, is at once humble, playful, humorous, and studied, and his stories can be seen as well as heard.


Conversations with Clarence Major Cover Image
By Nancy Bunge (Editor)
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ISBN: 9781578064588
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Published: University Press of Mississippi - July 25th, 2002

In Conversations with Clarence Major, the author comments thoughtfully on the diverse nature of his work. Major explores his influences, the methods he applies to the different types of writing he does, and his childhood in Atlanta and Chicago's South Side.

The same openness and curiosity that make his work so various and rich allow Major to focus on and respond to each interviewer's concerns. Journalists, scholars, and show hosts pose questions about particular works, about the different ways Major creates, about his teaching of writing, about his views of nature, and about youth.

In interviews from 1969 to 2001, Major transforms every interview into an encounter that informs him as well as the interviewer. His interest in the dynamic nature of language and life emerges in several discussions. "If language didn't change, it would die, " he says in a 1994 interview. "It has to constantly change and evolve even if we're speaking at a small, secret level. It has to grow. Words are like organic things -- they don't just go on. Some are reborn in different form."

Featuring a previously unpublished interview with the volume's editor, as well asconversations with such notables as Larry McCaffery, Conversations with Clarence Major shows how the mind of an enormously talented and multifaceted artist works while conveying a sense of the generosity and optimism that keep Clarence Major experimenting and learning.


Necessary Distance: Essays and Criticism Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781566891097
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Published: Coffee House Press - April 1st, 2001

All-Night Visitors Cover Image
By Clarence Major, Bernard W. Bell (Foreword by)
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ISBN: 9781555534288
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Published: Northeastern University Press - May 1st, 2000

Configurations: New & Selected Poems, 1958-1998 Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781556590900
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Published: Copper Canyon Press - September 1st, 1998

Dirty Bird Blues Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781562790837
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Published: Mercury House - January 1st, 1996

Calling the Wind: Twentieth-Century African-American Short Stories Cover Image
By Clarence Major (Editor)
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ISBN: 9780060982010
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Published: Harper Perennial - January 1st, 1993

Fun & Games Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780930100346
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Published: Holy Cow Press - January 1st, 1990

Surfaces and Masks Cover Image
$8.95
ISBN: 9780918273437
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Published: Coffee House Press - August 1st, 1988