University of Iowa

Jerald Walker's Dragon Slayers

In this E-Channel post by Charles Johnson, Jerald Walker's Dragon Slayers is discussed, as well as James Alan McPherson's influence on Walker's work: "Walker says that in his courses on black American literature, he betrays 'the belief that blacks are primarily victims...a common view held by both races. I, too, held it for many years. When I was in my early twenties and making my first crude attempts at writing fiction, I'd sit at my word processor and pound out stories brimming with blacks who understood only anger and pain. My settings were always ghettos, because that was what I knew, and the plots centered on hardship and suffering, because I knew that, too.'

It was one of his distinguished teachers in the Iowa Writers Workshop, Pulitzer-prize author James Alan McPherson, who helped Walker see that what he was doing was easy art..." Read more...


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