Ohio University Press · Swallow Press ·

The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar

By Paul Laurence Dunbar
Edited by Thomas Lewis Morgan and Gene Andrew Jarrett
Foreword by Shelley Fisher Fishkin

An ALA “Best of the Best” Book

“Dunbar’s short stories offered keen insight into American race relations as well as the problems African Americans faced in the nineteeth and early twentieth centuries.... He was more proactive and subtle about inserting his own political views than many critics, then and since, have given him credit for.”

The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar

“One hundred years after the death of Dunbar, he is most remembered for his poem ‘We Wear the Mask,’ evoking the balance required of blacks to survive and prosper in nineteenth-century America. This collection of 103 of Dunbar’s short stories written between 1890 and 1905, including well known pieces and many that have gone out of print, allows readers to see how the first African American writer to enjoy huge success evolved as a writer. This is a valuable collection for readers interested in Dunbar and his place in African American and American literature.“

Booklist, starred review

“Dunbar’s nuanced strategies are on ample display in this first comprehensive collection of his fiction...The stories in the volume are complicated, entertaining, offensive, and moving.”

Rain Taxi

“What we have been presented with here is a Herculean task of scholarship.”

Ohioana Quarterly

The son of former slaves, Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of the most prominent figures in American literature at the turn of the twentieth century. Thirty-three years old at the time of his death in 1906, he had published four novels, four collections of short stories, and fourteen books of poetry, as well as numerous songs, plays, and essays in newspapers and magazines around the world.

In the century following his death, Dunbar slipped into relative obscurity, remembered mainly for his dialect poetry or as a footnote to other more canonical figures of the period. The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar showcases his gifts as a writer of short fiction and provides key insights into the tensions and themes of Dunbar’s literary achievement. The 104 stories written by Dunbar between 1890 and 1905 reveal Dunbar’s attempts to maintain his artistic integrity while struggling with America’s racist stereotypes. Making them available for the first time in one convenient, comprehensive, and definitive volume, The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar illustrates the complexity of his literary life and legacy.

Thomas Lewis Morgan is an assistant professor of English at the University of Dayton. His research and teaching interests focus on critical race theory in late-nineteenth-century American and African American literature, specifically as it applies to the politics of narrative form.   More info →

Gene Andrew Jarrett is an associate professor of English and African American Studies at Boston University. He is the author of Deans and Truants: Race and Realism in African American Literature and editor or coeditor of The New Negro: Readings on Race, Representation, and African American Culture, 1892–1938; African American Literature beyond Race: An Alternative Reader, and The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar.   More info →

Order a print copy

Paperback · $26.36 ·
Add to Cart

Retail price: $32.95 · Save 20% ($26.36)

Hardcover · $47.96 ·
Add to Cart

Retail price: $59.95 · Save 20% ($47.96)

Buy from a local bookstore


US and Canada only

Buy an eBook

Amazon Kindle Store Barnes & Noble NOOK Google Play iBooks Store

Availability and price vary according to vendor.

Cover of The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Share    Facebook icon  Email icon


Desk Copy Examination Copy Review Copy

Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center


Retail price: $32.95, S.
Release date: February 2009
560 pages · 6.125 × 9¼ in.
Rights:  World

Retail price: $59.95, S.
Release date: March 2007
560 pages · 6.125 × 9¼ in.
Rights:  World

Release date: March 2007
560 pages
Rights:  World

Related Titles

Cover of 'The Absent Man'

The Absent Man
The Narrative Craft of Charles W. Chesnutt
By Charles Duncan

As the first African-American fiction writer to achieve a national reputation, Ohio native Charles W. Chesnutt (1858–1932) in many ways established the terms of the black literary tradition now exemplified by such writers as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Charles Johnson.Following

Literary Criticism, US · African American Authors · African American Studies · Ohio and Regional

Cover of 'Collected Short Plays'

Collected Short Plays
By James Schevill

In a time that emphasizes media spectaculars, the short play offers an exploration of minimal possibilities yet has the power to fix history in a moment’s structure, a flash of revelation. The short play is a powerful and innovative theatrical medium, relying upon compression and clarity rather than amplification, and reducing character and action to a spare, dramatic core.Schevill

Literature · Literary Criticism, Theater · American Literature

Cover of 'In His Own Voice'

In His Own Voice
The Dramatic and Other Uncollected Works of Paul Laurence Dunbar
By Paul Laurence Dunbar
· Edited by Herbert Woodward Martin and Ronald Primeau
· Foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

More than seventy-five works in six genres. Featured are the previously unpublished play Herrick and two one-act plays, largely ignored for a century, that demonstrate Dunbar’s subversion of the minstrel tradition.

African American Authors · African American Studies · Ohio and Regional

Cover of 'The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar'

The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar
By Paul Laurence Dunbar
· Edited by Herbert Woodward Martin, Ronald Primeau, and Gene Andrew Jarrett

Presents four Dunbar novels under one cover for the first time, allowing readers to assess why he was such a seminal influence on the twentieth century African American writers who followed him into the American canon.

Fiction · African American Authors · Ohio and Regional