Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Facts Based Novels or Historical Fiction

Historical fiction may center on historical or on fictional characters but usually represents an honest attempt based on considerable research (or at least serious reading) to tell a story set in the historical past as understood by the author's contemporaries. Historical fiction, unlike history is not constrained to cite its sources with footnotes in the text.

* Fictionalized account of real events
* Stories take place in a definite place in history
* Something similar to the story could have happened. Often based on real people & events
* Can include real facts and places
* Very much like the real world - just at a different time in history
* Teaches us about the past, how people lived
* Much time spent on setting, plot and characters


Red River by Lalita Tademy is based on the Colfax Massacre of 1873

Like Trees, Walking by Ravi Howard is based on the lynching of Michael Donald in 1981

Beloved by Toni Morrison is based on the life and legal case of Margaret Garner in 1856

Washington and Caesar by Christian Cameron is based on the legendary Black Loyalist in 1775

Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala is based on the phenomena of young boys and girls forced into battle and bloodshed, "Child Soldiers" in the embattled villages and hamlets of Africa.

Pride of Carthage by David Anthony Durham focussed on Hannibal Barca of Ancient Carthage and his war with the Roman Republic.


Angel Of Harlem by Kuwana Haulsey is a novel
based on the life of Dr. May Chinn the first black
female physician in New York City
Links:

War Child International Network

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Schomburg Collection

Because i'm an avid first edition book collector, I thought a nice framed poster about books (and african american themed at that!) would compliment my library. So...I bid on a poster on eBay.com and won it. As I examined the poster...I see a reference to The Schomburg Collection of the New York Public Library. I've heard this referenced before, but I never knew anything about the Schomburg Collection.

So...I go to my favorite website...Wikipedia and viola!

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg also known as Arthur Schomburg (January 24, 1874-June 8, 1938) born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was a historian, writer and activist, known as "The Father of Black History." Schomburg had amassed a world renowned collection which consisted of artworks, manuscripts, rare books, slave narratives and other remnants of Black history. So impressed was the New York Public Library with Schomburg's collection that the Carnegie Corporation purchased it from him for $10,000 to form the cornerstone of the Library's Division of Negro History at the 135th Street Branch in Harlem. The proceeds from the sale were used to fund travel to Spain, France, Germany and England, to seek out other pieces of black history to further add to the collection. (Wikipedia.com)

On my next visit to New York...I will be visiting the New York Public Library.