Literary Precedents for Waiting to Exhale

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Critical commentary relates McMillan's work to a trend toward African American feminist literature that arose after the early 1970s. African American women realized that they were not represented in the literature of their male counterparts. Also, a perception that the 1960s feminist movement reflected an exclusively white perspective provoked such literature as Alice Walker's In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose (1983). African American female writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, who wrote during the pre-World War II period, again became popular, along with the theme of gender relations. Hurston outlined a volatile relationship between a man and a woman in Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). McMillan's second novel, Disappearing Acts (1989), honors Hurston in a character named after her, Zora Banks, who is involved in a similar relationship.

Waiting to Exhale treats a genderrelations theme, and follows also, to a degree, a trend of "male-bashing." Toni Morrison treated...

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This section contains 442 words
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Buy the Waiting to Exhale Study Guide
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