Published by the Author

Self-Publication in Nineteenth-Century African American Literature

By Bryan Sinche

274 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 19 halftones, 4 tables

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7413-1
    Published: April 2024
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-7412-4
    Published: April 2024
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7414-8
    Published: April 2024

John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture

Paperback Available April 2024, but pre-order your copy today!

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Publication is an act of power. It brings a piece of writing to the public and identifies its author as a person with an intellect and a voice that matters. Because nineteenth-century Black Americans knew that publication could empower them, and because they faced numerous challenges getting their writing into print or the literary market, many published their own books and pamphlets in order to garner social, political, or economic rewards. In doing so, these authors nurtured a tradition of creativity and critique that has remained largely hidden from view.

Bryan Sinche surveys the hidden history of African American self-publication and offers new ways to understand the significance of publication as a creative, reformist, and remunerative project. Full of surprising turns, Sinche’s study is not simply a look at genre or a movement; it is a fundamental reassessment of how print culture allowed Black ideas and stories to be disseminated to a wider reading public and enabled authors to retain financial and editorial control over their own narratives.

About the Author

Bryan Sinche is professor of English and chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages at the University of Hartford.

For more information about Bryan Sinche, visit the Author Page.


"Sinche is a terrific researcher whose dogged literary detective work is apparent everywhere in this book. He has wrestled a tremendous amount of information into a form that allows readers to readily follow a series of intriguing interpretations of virtually unknown narratives authored by Black people in the nineteenth century. A significant contribution to an important topic." —Elizabeth McHenry, New York University

"Published by the Author is a unique double-barreled contribution to African American literary history and African American book history. Sinche's exceptional research on both fronts represents an enormous benefit to anyone interested in the material circumstances affecting the development of a central but largely unappreciated tradition in nineteenth-century African American writing: the independent publication of personal narratives unfiltered by white editors and unbeholden to white publishers."—William L. Andrews, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill