Mythmaking and Metaphor in Black Women's Fiction

This critical study examines the significance of mythology for contemporary black women writers. It aims to illustrate the narrative strategies used to elucidate themes of mythmaking in such writers as Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, Toni Cade Bambara and Paule Marshall. The author considers how and why these writers use the structures of mythology to convey their aesthetic world, demonstrating the function of metaphor in illustrating these structures. It identifies the influences of different mythologies such as African, Black American and European, on black women writers who have appropriated them and the skill with which they have woven them into the worlds of their own experiences.