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date: 18 June 2019

(p. ix) Acknowledgments

(p. ix) Acknowledgments

I started planning the Oxford Handbook of the African American Slave Narrative at the beginning of 2009, and it’s been a long journey since then, one that has included a number of personal trials and turns of fortune. I am grateful beyond measure, then, to the contributors to the volume for never losing faith that this journey would eventually come to a successful conclusion. I believe that this journey’s end, the publication of this volume, will be a significant beginning for many scholars and students interested in studying slave narratives, and for those countless others who understand the importance of being attentive to the voices that reach to us from the past. I am grateful to the contributors for bringing so much expertise, care, imagination, and passion to their chapters for this volume. I’m both grateful to and impressed by the outstanding people at Oxford University Press for their guidance and hard work. I’ve benefitted greatly from conversations with colleagues at West Virginia University and the University of Delaware, and I’m especially grateful for the support I’ve received from Deans Bob Jones (WVU) and George Watson (UD) as I’ve worked to finish this project while also serving as department chair. Thanks are always due to Gordon Hutner, Bill Andrews, Bob Levine, Donald Pease, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for their encouragement and support. Teresa Goddu has been especially enthusiastic about promoting the work of this project. Her commitment to this work has been a real inspiration. My closest collaborators in all things scholarly are Eric Gardner and Joycelyn Moody, both of whom can always be trusted to have a broad and deep understanding of what this field requires of its scholars, and both of whom are always available for advice and support.

If acknowledgments are designed to amplify gratitude as they progress, so that those who are mentioned at the end are the ones worthy of the greatest, the most intimate, the quite-nearly-inexpressible expressions of gratitude, then I would need to go on for pages, volumes, before finally mentioning Brendan O’Neill, who has been unflinching, enthusiastic, and tireless in helping me get this project to such a successful conclusion. And only then would I begin to prepare to thank Denise for all she does to support and encourage me, and for all she brings to my life. (p. x)