Liberation Memories: the Rhetoric and Poetics of John Oliver Killens.
* No serious study of the African-American novel from the 1950s to date can skip a reference to John Oliver Killens. LIBERATION MEMORIES: THE RHETORIC AND POETICS OF JOHN OLIVER KILLENS (Wayne State University Press, $29.95) by Keith Gilyard examines Killens's work as an essayist and cultural organizer, highlighting his activism. Gilyard doesn't use standard critical frameworks to reveal Killens's novels as artful renderings of rich African-American rhetorical forms and verbal traditions. A two-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize and founding chairman of the legendary Harlem Writers Guild, Killens was regarded by many as the spiritual father who inspired a genre of African-American novels with his politically charged works.