Lawrence Jackson is the author of My Father’s Name: A Black Virginia Family after the Civil War (Chicago 2012), The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics (Princeton 2010) and Ralph Ellison: Emergence of Genius, 1913-1952 (Wiley 2002). Two of his books have been finalists for the Hurston-Wright Prize and The Indignant Generation won the 2011 William Sanders Scarborough Prize from the Modern Language Association and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association 2012 award for non-fiction. Harper’s Magazine, N+1, New York Times Book Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Baltimore Magazine, New England Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Antioch Review, Washington Post, American Literature, American Literary History and Best American Essays have published his criticism and non-fiction.
Professor Jackson earned a PhD in English and American literature at Stanford University, and has held fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University, the Stanford Humanities Center, the Ford Foundation, and the William J. Fulbright program at the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. He began his teaching career at Howard University in 1997 and he is now Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of English and History at Johns Hopkins University. His forthcoming biography of Chester Himes will be published by W.W. Norton in 2017.