Although psychoanalytic theory is one of the most important and influential tools in contemporary literary criticism, to date it has had very little impact on the study of African-American literature and culture. Now, Claudia Tate argues that psycholanalytic paradigms can produce rich readings of African-American desire, alienation, and subjectivity. Tate summarizes the work of such figures as Freud and Lacan, with references to their contemporary literary proponents, and examines a series of texts by Emma Kelly, W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, and Nella Larsen. This provocative new book will serve as an introduction to psychoanalytic theory and its application for African-American literature and culture. Tate strikes unchartered territory, and her work will be of great interest to scholars and students in African-American studies.