Professor D. Quentin Miller, chair of the English Department, recently published the new book, Understanding John Edgar Wideman. This volume, part of the University of South Carolina's "Understanding Contemporary Authors" series, serves as a critical overview of Wideman's work, which spans a period of nearly 50 years. Wideman, best known for his acclaimed fictional "Homewood Trilogy" and for the memoir/biography Brothers and Keepers, all published in the early 1980s, is regarded as one of the most important and most challenging literary voices of the post-Black Arts Movement era. Miller's study includes the first critical consideration of Wideman's most recent book, Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File.
His latest book follows the October publication of an edited collection entitled American Literature in Transition 1980-1990. The volume is part of a new series by Cambridge University Press focusing on American literature that defines literary historical trends by decade. In addition to articles by 21 scholars in the field of contemporary literature, the volume contains Miller's introduction "The Screen and the Page" and his essay "Magic, Meet Realism: World Mythology on American Soil" covering works by John Edgar Wideman, Louise Erdrich, and Maxine Hong Kingston.
He published the essay "All the Clever Young Men" in the essay collection John Updike Remembered in fall 2017. The essay combines memoir, literary criticism, and the author's analysis of Updike's correspondence with him while he was conducting archival research.
Miller also published several essays and articles about James Baldwin. An essay in the October 2017 volume of the James Baldwin Review was entitled "Trends in James Baldwin Criticism 2010-13." He published the articles "Fusing the Confessional with the Observant: James Baldwin" in Gale Researcher: 20th and 21st Centuries in American Literature, edited by Mary Pat Brady, and "South By Southeast: James Baldwin in Provence" in Diasporas, Cultures of Mobilities, "Race" (ed. Corinne DuBoin and Claudine Raynaud), Presses Universitaires de la Méditerranée, 2016 (167-179).
Miller’s review of A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun, Angela Jackson's biography of Gwendolyn Brooks, appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, Aug. 18, 2017, p. 43. His review (PDF) of The New Territory: Ralph Ellison and the Twenty-First Century, edited by Marc Conner and Lucas Morel, appeared in American Literary History Online Review, Series XII, no. 1. He published the review essay "Master of the Blues" in the Times Literary Supplement. The essay in the June 2, 2017, edition reviews Albert Murray's Collected Essays and Memoirs.
Miller's short story, "The Body Painter," appeared in Every Day Fiction, May 2, 2017.