This important new collection of interdisciplinary essays sets out to chart the cultural construction of "ethnicity" as embodied in American ethnic literature. Looking at a diverse set of texts, the contributors place the subject in broad historical and dynamic contexts, focusing on the larger systems within which ethnic distinctions emerge and obtain recognition. It provides a new critical framework for understanding not only ethnic literature, but also the underlying psychological, historical, social, and cultural forces. Table of Contents: On the Fourth of July in Sitka, Ishmael Reed. Introduction: The Invention of Ethnicity, Werner Sollors. An American Writer, Richard Rodriguez. A Plea for Fictional Histories and Old-Time "Jewesses", Alide Cagidemetrio. Ethnicity as Festive Culture: Nineteenth-Century German-America on Parade, Kathleen Conzen. Defining the Race, 1890-1930, Judith Stein. Anzia Yezierska and the Making of an Ethnic American Self, Mary Dearborn. Deviant Girls and Dissatisfied Women: A Sociologist's Tale, Carla Cappeti. Ethnic Trilogies: A Genealogical and Generational Poetics, William Boelhower. Blood in the Market Place: The Business of Family in the Godfather Narratives, Thomas Ferraro. Comping for Count Basie, Albert Murray. Is Ethnicity Obsolete, Ishmael Reed, Andrew Hope, Shawn Wong, and Bob Callahan.