Much feminist writing of recent decades has addressed the difficulties of relating across racial differences. In Women and Race in Contemporary U.S. Writing, Reames examines novels and autobiographies to discover how contemporary writers have imagined possibilities for relationships between African American and white women that overcome the stereotypical patterns of racism. Works by William Faulkner, Lillian Hellman, Audre Lorde, Kaye Gibbons, Elizabeth Cox, Sherley Anne Williams, and Toni Morrison provide examples of sometimes loving and often conflicted relationships between child and nurse, employer and domestic worker, political allies, and friends. Reames argues that these literary works show that meaningful interracial relationships are possible only when white women recognize their racial privilege.

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