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American Literature Books & eBooks
American Isis: the life and art of Sylvia Plath by On the fiftieth anniversary of her death, a startling new vision of Plath--the first to draw from the recently-opened Ted Hughes archive
The life and work of Sylvia Plath has taken on the proportions of myth. Educated at Smith, she had an epically conflict-filled relationship with her mother, Aurelia. She then married the poet Ted Hughes and plunged into the sturm and drang of married life in the full glare of the world of English and American letters. Her poems were fought over, rejected, accepted and, ultimately, embraced by readers everywhere. Dead at thirty, she committed suicide by putting her head in an oven while her children slept.
Her poetry collection titled Ariel became a modern classic. Her novel The Bell Jar has a fixed place on student reading lists. American Isis will be the first Plath bio benefitting from the new Ted Hughes archive at the British Library which includes forty one letters between Plath and Hughes as well as a host of unpublished papers. The Sylvia Plath Carl Rollyson brings to us in American Isis is no shrinking Violet overshadowed by Ted Hughes, she is a modern day Isis, a powerful force that embraced high and low culture to establish herself in the literary firmament.
Call Number: PS3566.L27Z849 2013
Publication Date: 2013
And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, a life by The first authoritative biography of Kurt Vonnegut Jr., a writer who changed the conversation of American literature.
In 2006, Charles Shields reached out to Kurt Vonnegut in a letter, asking for his endorsement for a planned biography. The first response was no ("A most respectful demurring by me for the excellent writer Charles J. Shields, who offered to be my biographer"). Unwilling to take no for an answer, propelled by a passion for his subject, and already deep into his research, Shields wrote again and this time, to his delight, the answer came back: "O.K." For the next year--a year that ended up being Vonnegut's last--Shields had access to Vonnegut and his letters.
And So It Goes is the culmination of five years of research and writing--the first-ever biography of the life of Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut resonates with readers of all generations from the baby boomers who grew up with him to high-school and college students who are discovering his work for the first time. Vonnegut's concise collection of personal essays, Man Without a Country , published in 2006, spent fifteen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has sold more than 300,000 copies to date. The twenty-first century has seen interest in and scholarship about Vonnegut's works grow even stronger, and this is the first book to examine in full the life of one of the most influential iconoclasts of his time.
Call Number: PS3572.O5Z855 2011
Publication Date: 2011
Autobiography of Mark Twain by "I've struck it!" Mark Twain wrote in a 1904 letter to a friend. "And I will give it away--to you. You will never know how much enjoyment you have lost until you get to dictating your autobiography." Thus, after dozens of false starts and hundreds of pages, Twain embarked on his "Final (and Right) Plan" for telling the story of his life. His innovative notion--to "talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment"--meant that his thoughts could range freely. The strict instruction that many of these texts remain unpublished for 100 years meant that when they came out, he would be "dead, and unaware, and indifferent," and that he was therefore free to speak his "whole frank mind." The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain's death. In celebration of this important milestone and in honor of the cherished tradition of publishing Mark Twain's works, UC Press is proud to offer for the first time Mark Twain's uncensored autobiography in its entirety and exactly as he left it. This major literary event brings to readers, admirers, and scholars the first of three volumes and presents Mark Twain's authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave as he intended.
Call Number: PS1331.A2 2010 (2 vols)
Publication Date: 2010
Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: how an unlikely couple found love, dodged the FBI, and transformed children's literature by Crockett Johnson (born David Johnson Leisk, 1906-1975) and Ruth Krauss (1901-1993) were a husband-and-wife team that created such popular children's books as The Carrot Seed and How to Make an Earthquake. Separately, Johnson created the enduring children's classic Harold and the Purple Crayon and the groundbreaking comic strip Barnaby . Krauss wrote over a dozen children's books illustrated by others, and pioneered the use of spontaneous, loose-tongued kids in children's literature. Together, Johnson and Krauss's style--whimsical writing, clear and minimalist drawing, and a child's point-of-view--is among the most revered and influential in children's literature and cartooning, inspiring the work of Maurice Sendak, Charles M. Schulz, Chris Van Allsburg, and Jon Scieszka.
This critical biography examines their lives and careers, including their separate achievements when not collaborating. Using correspondence, sketches, contemporary newspaper and magazine accounts, archived and personal interviews, author Philip Nel draws a compelling portrait of a couple whose output encompassed children's literature, comics, graphic design, and the fine arts. Their mentorship of now-famous illustrator Maurice Sendak ( Where the Wild Things Are ) is examined at length, as is the couple's appeal to adult contemporaries such as Duke Ellington and Dorothy Parker. Defiantly leftist in an era of McCarthyism and Cold War paranoia, Johnson and Krauss risked collaborations that often contained subtly rendered liberal themes. Indeed, they were under FBI surveillance for years. Their legacy of considerable success invites readers to dream and to imagine, drawing paths that take them anywhere they want to go.
Call Number: PS3519.O224Z77 2012
Publication Date: 2012
Jack London: an American life by Jack London was born a working class, fatherless Californian in 1876. In his youth, he was a boundlessly energetic adventurer on the bustling West Coast--an oyster pirate, a hobo, a sailor, and a prospector by turns. He spent his brief life rapidly accumulating the experiences that would inform his acclaimed bestselling books The Call of the Wild , White Fang , and The Sea-Wolf .
The bare outlines of his story suggest a classic rags-to-riches tale, but London the man was plagued by contradictions. He chronicled nature at its most savage, but wept helplessly at the deaths of his favorite animals. At his peak the highest paid writer in the United States, he was nevertheless forced to work under constant pressure for money. An irrepressibly optimistic crusader for social justice and a lover of humanity, he was also subject to spells of bitter invective, especially as hishealth declined. Branded by shortsighted critics as little more than a hack who produced a couple of memorable dog stories, he left behind a voluminous literary legacy, much of it ripe for rediscovery.
In Jack London: An American Life , the noted Jack London scholar Earle Labor explores the brilliant and complicated novelist lost behind the myth--at once a hard-living globe-trotter and a man alive with ideas, whose passion for seeking new worlds to explore never waned until the day he died. Returning London to his proper place in the American pantheon, Labor resurrects a major American novelist in his full fire and glory.
Call Number: PS3523.O46Z6825 2013
Publication Date: 2013
John Steinbeck: a Biography by An in-depth biography of John Steinbeck documents his early struggles, the period that produced his Pulitzer-prize winning The Grapes of Wrath, difficult first and second marriages, and stormy friendships with numerous celebrities.
Call Number: PS3537.T3234Z7854 1995
Publication Date: 1995
My Wars Are Laid Away in Books : the life of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson, probably the most loved and certainly the greatest of American poets, continues to be seen as the most elusive. One reason she has become a timeless icon of mystery for many readers is that her developmental phases have not been clarified. In this exhaustively researched biography, Alfred Habegger presents the first thorough account of Dickinson's growth--a richly contextualized story of genius in the process of formation and then in the act of overwhelming production. Building on the work of former and contemporary scholars,My Wars Are Laid Away in Booksbrings to light a wide range of new material from legal archives, congregational records, contemporary women's writing, and previously unpublished fragments of Dickinson's own letters. Habegger discovers the best available answers to the pressing questions about the poet: Was she lesbian? Who was the person she evidently loved? Why did she refuse to publish and why was this refusal so integral an aspect of her work? Habegger also illuminates many of the essential connection sin Dickinson's story: between the decay of doctrinal Protestantism and the emergence of her riddling lyric vision; between her father's political isolation after the Whig Party's collapse and her private poetic vocation; between her frustrated quest for human intimacy and the tuning of her uniquely seductive voice. The definitive treatment of Dickinson's life and times, and of her poetic development,My Wars Are Laid Away in Booksshows how she could be both a woman of her era and a timeless creator. Although many aspects of her life and work will always elude scrutiny, her living, changing profile at least comes into focus in this meticulous and magisterial biography. From the Hardcover edition.
Call Number: PS1541.Z5H32 2001
Publication Date: 2001-10-16
Philip Roth by "The renowned biographer's definitive portrait of a literary titan. Appointed by Philip Roth and granted independence and complete access, Blake Bailey spent years poring over Roth's personal archive, interviewing his friends, lovers, and colleagues, and engaging Roth himself in breathtakingly candid conversations. The result is an indelible portrait of an American master and of the postwar literary scene. Bailey shows how Roth emerged from a lower-middle-class Jewish milieu to achieve the heights of literary fame, how his career was nearly derailed by his catastrophic first marriage, and how he championed the work of dissident novelists behind the Iron Curtain. Bailey examines Roth's rivalrous friendships with Saul Bellow, John Updike, and William Styron, and reveals the truths of his florid love life, culminating in his almost-twenty-year relationship with actress Claire Bloom, who pilloried Roth in her 1996 memoir, Leaving a Doll's House. Tracing Roth's path from realism to farce to metafiction to the tragic masterpieces of the American Trilogy, Bailey explores Roth's engagement with nearly every aspect of postwar American culture"
Call Number: PS3568.O855 Z55 2021
Publication Date: 2021
Thomas Pynchon by More than any other living American novelist, Thomas Pynchon demands comparison with the likes of Joyce, Kafka, and Conrad. Pynchon draws on the entire history of Western culture as he questions its ideas of order. This text has been revised and expanded to include essays on Vineland and Mason & Dixon.
Call Number: PS3566.Y55Z94 2003
Publication Date: 2009
William Faulkner: American Writer : A Biography by Though the author of this huge biography acknowledges his indebtedness to, among others, Joseph Blotner, one can feel almost sorry for that author, whose two- and (later) one-volume treatments (CH, Sep '74; Sep '84) of Faulkner were generally criticized for being dry compendiums of factual data in which the personality of the novelist remained elusive. Reviews of this new work are likely to praise it at Blotner's expense, and it is hard not to agree with that response. What Karl--who comes to Faulkner after having written Joseph Conrad: The Three Lives (CH, Jun '79) and a number of other books--manages to accomplish is a particularly successful interweaving of the life and works of the late Mississippian, one in which Faulkner's paradoxical self, warts and all, is a strongly felt presence. Faulkner's love affairs and his drinking are seen as responses to the stresses of simultaneously ruling his tiny Oxford fiefdom at Rowan Oak, with its toy Tara and his alcoholic wife, while participating, in an enormously significant way, in an international modernist literary movement far removed from the provincial mindset of Mississippi. This is a tightly written volume in spite of its length; nothing about it sprawls. Largely unfamiliar photos accompany the text. An inescapable acquisition for all libraries. -J. M. Ditsky, University of Windsor
Call Number: PS3511.A86Z8588 1989
Publication Date: 1989
Books in the Library Catalog
The Daemon Knows: literary greatness and the American sublime by Hailed as "the indispensable critic" by The New York Review of Books, Harold Bloom-- New York Times bestselling writer and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University--has for decades been sharing with readers and students his genius and passion for understanding literature and explaining why it matters. Now he turns at long last to his beloved writers of our national literature in an expansive and mesmerizing book that is one of his most incisive and profoundly personal to date. A product of five years of writing and a lifetime of reading and scholarship, The Daemon Knows may be Bloom's most masterly book yet.
Pairing Walt Whitman with Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson with Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne with Henry James, Mark Twain with Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens with T. S. Eliot, and William Faulkner with Hart Crane, Bloom places these writers' works in conversation with one another, exploring their relationship to the "daemon"--the spark of genius or Orphic muse--in their creation and helping us understand their writing with new immediacy and relevance. It is the intensity of their preoccupation with the sublime, Bloom proposes, that distinguishes these American writers from their European predecessors.
Call Number: PS121.B584 2015
Publication Date: 2015
Everyone Behaves Badly: The Story Behind Hemingway's Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises by The making of Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, the outsize personalities who inspired it, and the vast changes it wrought on the literary world. In the summer of 1925, Earnest Hemingway and a clique of raucous companions traveled to Pamplona, Spain, for the town's infamous running of the bulls. Then, over the next six weeks, he channeled that trip's maelstrom of drunken brawls, sexual rivalry, midnight betrayals, and midday hangovers into his groundbreaking novel The Sun Also Rises. This revolutionary work redefined modern literature as much as it did his peers, who would forever after be called the Lost Generation. But the full story of Hemingway's legendary rise has remained untold until now. Lesley Blume resurrects the explosive, restless landscape of 1920s Paris and Spain and reveals how Hemingway helped create his own legend. He made himself into a death-courting, bull-fighting aficionado; a hard-drinking, short-fused literary genius; and an expatriate bon vivant. Blume's vivid account reveals the inner circle of the Lost Generation as we have never seen it before, and shows how it still influences what we read and how we think about youth, sex, love, and excess.
Call Number: PS3515.E37 S9216 2016
Publication Date: 2016
Figures in a Landscape by In the spirit of his much-loved Sunrise with Seamonsters and Fresh Air Fiend, Paul Theroux’s latest collection of essays leads the reader through a dazzling array of sights, characters, and experiences, as Theroux applies his signature searching curiosity to a life lived as much in reading as on the road. This writerly tour-de-force features a satisfyingly varied selection of topics that showcase Theroux’s sheer versatility as a writer. Travel essays take us to Ecuador, Zimbabwe, and Hawaii, to name a few. Gems of literary criticism reveal fascinating depth in the work of Henry David Thoreau, Graham Greene, Joseph Conrad, and Hunter Thompson. And in a series of breathtakingly personal profiles, we take a helicopter ride with Elizabeth Taylor, go surfing with Oliver Sacks, eavesdrop on the day-to-day life of a Manhattan dominatrix, and explore New York with Robin Williams.
Call Number: PS3570.H4 A6 2018
Publication Date: 2018
From Native Son to King's Men by On the heels of the Great Depression and staring into the abyss of a global war, American writers took fiction and literature in a new direction that addressed the chaos that the nation--and the world--was facing. These authors spoke to the human condition in traumatic times, and their works reflected the dreams, aspirations, values, and hopes of people living in the World War II era. In From Native Son to King's Men: The Literary Landscape of 1940s America, Robert McParland examines notable works published throughout the decade. Among the authors covered are James Baldwin, Pearl S. Buck, James Gould Cozzens, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, John Hersey, Norman Mailer, Ann Petry, Irwin Shaw, John Steinbeck, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, and Richard Wright. McParland explores how popular novels, literary fiction, and even short stories by these authors represented this pivotal period in American culture. By examining the creative output of these authors, this book reveals how the literature of the 1940s not only offered a pathway for that era's readers but also provides a way of understanding the past and our own times. From Native Son to King's Men will appeal to anyone interested in the cultural climate of the 1940s and how this period was depicted in American literature.
Call Number: PS223 .M37 2018
Publication Date: 2017
Genocide of the Mind: new Native American writing by After five centuries of Eurocentrism, many people have little idea that Native American tribes still exist, or which traditions belong to what tribes. However over the past decade there has been a rising movement to accurately describe Native cultures and histories. In particular, people have begun to explore the experience of urban Indians--individuals who live in two worlds struggling to preserve traditional Native values within the context of an ever-changing modern society. In Genocide of the Mind, the experience and determination of these people is recorded in a revealing and compelling collection of essays that brings the Native American experience into the twenty-first century. Contributors include: Paula Gunn Allen, Simon Ortiz, Sherman Alexie, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Maurice Kenny, as well as emerging writers from different Indian nations.
Call Number: E98.E85G46 2003
Publication Date: 2003-09-19
In Search of the Color Purple by Tillet's cultural criticism blends literary history, biography, and memoir in an exploration of Alice Walker's National Book Award-winning novel that examines its influence against a backdrop of the civil rights encroachments of the early 1980s.
Call Number: PS3573.A425 S43 2021
Publication Date: 2021
Lonesome Rangers: homeless minds, promised lands, fugitive cultures by John Leonard, "the fastest wit in the East" ( The New York Times Book Review ), is back with the offbeat, wide-ranging style that earned his last book, When the Kissing Had to Stop , a place among the Voice Literary Supplement 's "25 Favorites of 1999." Now, with an eye to the social and political experience of writers, Leonard adopts a broad definition of exile.
He addresses Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone , where exile manifests itself in solitary bowling, a reflection of a declining sense of community. He considers Salman Rushdie as rock'n'roll Orpheus, who--after ten years in fatwa-enforced exile--bears a striking resemblance to his continually disappearing characters. And Leonard also explores Primo Levi's exile of survival, Bruce Chatwin's self-imposed exile in travel, as well as the work of Saul Bellow, Ralph Ellison, Phillip Roth, Barbara Kingsolver, and Don DeLillo, among others.
As always, Leonard's writing jumps off the page, engaging the reader in what the Washington Post calls his "laugh-out-loud magic with words."
Call Number: PS3562.E56L6 2002
Publication Date: 2002-02-01
Modern American Memoirs by In Modern American Memoirs, two very discerning writers and readers have selected samples from 35 of the finest memoirs written in this century, including contributions by such diverse writers as Margaret Mead, Malcolm X, Maxine Hong Kingston, Loren Eisely, and Zora Neale Hurston. Chosen for their value as excellent examples of the art of biography as well as for their superb writing, the excerpts present a broad range of American life, and offer vivid insight into the real-life events that shaped their authors. Here, readers can learn about the time when Harry Crews, playing as a boy, fell into a vat of boiling water with a dead hog; Chris Offutt joined the circus and watched a tattooed woman swallow a fluorescent light; and Frank Conroy practiced yo-yo tricks.
Call Number: PS129.M63 1996
Publication Date: 1996
A New Literary History of America by America is a nation making itself up as it goes along a story of discovery and invention unfolding in speeches and images, letters and poetry, unprecedented feats of scholarship and imagination. In these myriad, multiform, endlessly changing expressions of the American experience, the authors and editors of this volume find a new American history.
In more than two hundred original essays, "A New Literary History of America" brings together the nation s many voices. From the first conception of a New World in the sixteenth century to the latest re-envisioning of that world in cartoons, television, science fiction, and hip hop, the book gives us a new, kaleidoscopic view of what Made in America means. Literature, music, film, art, history, science, philosophy, political rhetoric cultural creations of every kind appear in relation to each other, and to the time and place that give them shape.
The meeting of minds is extraordinary as T. J. Clark writes on Jackson Pollock, Paul Muldoon on Carl Sandburg, Camille Paglia on Tennessee Williams, Sarah Vowell on Grant Wood s "American Gothic," Walter Mosley on hard-boiled detective fiction, Jonathan Lethem on Thomas Edison, Gerald Early on "Tarzan," Bharati Mukherjee on "The Scarlet Letter," Gish Jen on "Catcher in the Rye," and Ishmael Reed on "Huckleberry Finn." From Anne Bradstreet and John Winthrop to Philip Roth and Toni Morrison, from Alexander Graham Bell and Stephen Foster to Alcoholics Anonymous, "Life," Chuck Berry, Alfred Hitchcock, and Ronald Reagan, this is America singing, celebrating itself, and becoming something altogether different, plural, singular, new.
Call Number: PS92.N39 2009
Publication Date: 2009
The Portable Western Reader by The American West is as varied in its inhabitants as in its landforms. Yet what has come to stand for "Western" writing is the myth of the wagon train and the lone gunman. In the Portable Wester Reader , William Kittredge has assembled stories, poems, essays, and excerpts that transcend the Western myth and explore the vast range of Western experience. With selections from more than seventy authors, and an introduction and headnotes by William Kittredge. The Portable Western Reader redefines the Western literary landscape.
Call Number: PS509.W47P67 1997
Publication Date: 1997
Promised Land: thirteen books that changed America by Americans need periodic reminding that they are, to a great extent, people of the book--or, rather, books. In PROMISED LAND, Jay Parini repossesses that vibrant, intellectual heritage by examining the life and times of thirteen books that changed America. Each of the books has been a watershed, gathering intellectual currents already in motion and marking a turn in American life and thought.Their influence remains pervasive, however hidden, and in his essays Jay Parini demonstrates how these books entered American life and altered how we think and act in the world. The thirteen books that changed America: Of Plymouth Plantation - The Federalist Papers - The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin - The Journals of Lewis and Clark - Walden - Uncle Tom's Cabin - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - The Souls of Black Folk - The Promised Land - How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care - The Feminine Mystique - On the Road
Call Number: PS169.N35P37 2008
Publication Date: 2008
Speaking for the Generations: native writers on writing by Now it is my turn to stand. At Acoma Pueblo meetings, members rise and announce their intention to speak. In that moment they are recognized and heard.
In Speaking for the Generations, Acoma Pueblo poet Simon Ortiz brings together contemporary Native American writers to take their turn. Each offers an evocation of herself or himself, describing the personal, social, and cultural influences on her or his development as a writer. Although each writer's viewpoint is personal and unique, together they reflect the rich tapestry of today's Native literature.
Of varied backgrounds, the writers represent Indian heritages and cultures from the Pacific Northwest to the northern plains, from Canada to Guatemala. They are poets, novelists, and playwrights. And although their backgrounds are different and their statements intensely personal, they share common themes of their relationship to the land, to their ancestors, and to future generations of their people.
From Gloria Bird's powerful recounting of personal and family history to Esther Belin's vibrant tale of her urban Native homeland in Los Angeles, these writers reveal the importance of place and politics in their lives. Leslie Marmon Silko calls upon the ancient tradition of Native American storytelling and its role in connecting the people to the land. Roberta J. Hill and Elizabeth Woody ponder some of the absurdities of contemporary Native life, while Guatemalan Victor Montejo takes readers to the Mayan world, where a native culture had writing and books long before Europeans came.
Together these pieces offer an inspiring portrait of what it means to be a Native writer in the twentieth century. With passion and urgency, these writers are speaking for themselves, for their land, and for the generations.
Call Number: PS153.I52S624 1998
Publication Date: 1997
Theft by Finding by David Sedaris has kept a diary for forty years, recording everything that has captured his attention -- overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his work, and through them he has honed his cunning, surprising sentences. Now Sedaris shares his private writings with the world. Theft by Finding, the first of two volumes, is an account of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet. Most diaries -- even the diaries of great writers -- are impossibly dull, because they are generally about the authors' emotions, or their dreams, or their interior life. Sedaris's diaries are unique because they face outward. He doesn't tell us his feelings about the world; he shows us the world instead, and in so doing he shows us something deeper about himself. Written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable, and with a generosity of spirit that even a misanthropic sense of humor can't fully disguise, Theft by Finding is a potent reminder that there's no such thing as a boring day. When you're perceptive and curious, adventure waits around every corner.
Call Number: PS3569.E314 T444 2017
Publication Date: 2017
Thomas Pynchon: comprehensive research and study guide by Harold Bloom suggests Mason & Dixon is Thomas Pynchon's masterpiece to date, though he calls The Crying of Lot 49 a visionary romance. This text offers critical essays on these and other works, including V. and Gravity's Rainbow. A brief biography of Pynchon is also included.
Call Number: PS3566.Y55Z938 2003
Publication Date: 2003
Understanding Bernard Malamud by A useful guide for students and nonacademic readers who desire a short but skillful overview of Malamud's fiction. Helterman discusses the traditional elements of each work without making the process mechanical, and in a graceful introduction he tells us something about the author's fascination with Christian myth and Martin Buber's I-Thou relationship, and how both of these interests converge in the making of recurring character types. The point of view is particularly strong in developing Malamud's status as a moralist who used fable to illustrate the need for responsibility. Yet in so doing, the ripe and joyous emotional context of the fiction is almost unnoticed. In a guide, selection is paramount, but one does wonder why no effort was made to place Malamud in some framework of the current literary scene, especially since the series stresses the need for context. In addition to a short bibliography, the book contains a character index, a feature rarely found among lower-priced books.-E. Guereschi, St. John's University, N.Y.
Call Number: PS3563.A4Z67 1985
Publication Date: 1985
Walt Whitman: the centennial essays by In 1992, the year of the hundredth anniversary of Walt Whitman's death, a major gathering of international scholars took place at the University of Iowa. Over 150 participants heard papers by 20 of the world's most eminent critics of Whitman. Three generations of scholars offered new essays that brilliantly tracked the course of past and present Whitman scholarship. So significant was this historic celebration of the great American poet that the opening session was covered by CBS Sunday Morning, National Public Radio's Morning Edition, the New York Times, and other newspapers across the country. Musical and theatrical performances, art exhibitions, slide shows, readings, songs, and even a recently discovered recording of Whitman's voice were presented during the three days of the conference. But the heart of the conference was this series of original essays by some of the most innovative scholars working in the field of American literature. There has never been a more important collection of Whitman criticism. In these essays, readers will find the most suggestive recent approaches to Whitman alongside the most reliable traditional approaches. Walt Whitman: The Centennial Essays captures Whitman's energy and vitality, which have only increased in the century after his death.
Call Number: PS3238.W369 1994
Publication Date: 1994
West Of 98: living and writing the new American West by What does it mean to be a westerner? With all the mythology that has grown up about the American West, is it even possible to describe "how it was, how it is, here, in the West--just that," in the words of Lynn Stegner? Starting with that challenge, Stegner and Russell Rowland invited several dozen members of the western literary tribe to write about living in the West and being a western writer in particular. West of 98 gathers sixty-six literary testimonies, in essays and poetry, from a stellar collection of writers who represent every state west of the 98th parallel--a kind of Greek chorus of the most prominent voices in western literature today, who seek to "characterize the West as each of us grew to know it, and, equally important, the West that is still becoming."
In West of 98, western writers speak to the ways in which the West imprints itself on the people who live there, as well as how the people of the West create the personality of the region. The writers explore the western landscape--how it has been revered and abused across centuries--and the inescapable limitations its aridity puts on all dreams of conquest and development. They dismantle the boosterism of manifest destiny and the cowboy and mountain man ethos of every-man-for-himself, and show instead how we must create new narratives of cooperation if we are to survive in this spare and beautiful country. The writers seek to define the essence of both actual and metaphoric wilderness as they journey toward a West that might honestly be called home.
A collective declaration not of our independence but of our interdependence with the land and with each other, West of 98 opens up a whole new panorama of the western experience.
Call Number: PS561.W37 2011
Publication Date: 2011
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by When his mother passed away at the age of 78, Sherman Alexie responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. The result is this memoir. Featuring 78 poems and 78 essays, Alexie shares raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine -- growing up dirt-poor on an Indian reservation, one of four children raised by alcoholic parents. Throughout, a portrait emerges of his mother as a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated woman. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me is an account of a complicated relationship, an unflinching and unforgettable remembrance.
Call Number: PS3551.L35774 Y68 2017
Publication Date: 2017
Ebooks in the Library Catalog
After the End of History by In this bold book, Samuel Cohen asserts the literary and historical importance of the period between the fall of the Berlin wall and that of the Twin Towers in New York. With refreshing clarity, he examines six 1990s novels and two post-9/11 novels that explore the impact of the end of the Cold War: Pynchon's Mason & Dixon, Roth's American Pastoral, Morrison's Paradise, O'Brien's In the Lake of the Woods, Didion's The Last Thing He Wanted, Eugenides's Middlesex, Lethem's Fortress of Solitude, and DeLillo's Underworld. Cohen emphasizes how these works reconnect the past to a present that is ironically keen on denying that connection. Exploring the ways ideas about paradise and pastoral, difference and exclusion, innocence and righteousness, triumph and trauma deform the stories Americans tell themselves about their nation’s past, After the End of History challenges us to reconsider these works in a new light, offering fresh, insightful readings of what are destined to be classic works of literature. At the same time, Cohen enters into the theoretical discussion about postmodern historical understanding. Throwing his hat in the ring with force and style, he confronts not only Francis Fukuyama’s triumphalist response to the fall of the Soviet Union but also the other literary and political “end of history” claims put forth by such theorists as Fredric Jameson and Walter Benn Michaels. In a straightforward, affecting style, After the End of History offers us a new vision for the capabilities and confines of contemporary fiction.
Publication Date: 2009
American Narratives: Multiethnic Writing in the Age of Realism by American Narratives takes readers back to the turn of the twentieth century to reintroduce four writers of varying ethnic backgrounds whose works were mostly ignored by critics of their day. With the skill of a literary detective, Molly Crumpton Winter recovers an early multicultural discourse on assimilation and national belonging that has been largely overlooked by literary scholars. At the heart of the book are close readings of works by four nearly forgotten artists from 1890 to 1915, the era often termed the age of realism: Mary Antin, a Jewish American immigrant from Russia; Zitkala-a, a Sioux woman originally from South Dakota; Sutton E. Griggs, an African American from the South; and Sui Sin Far, a biracial, Chinese American female writer who lived on the West Coast. Winter's treatment of Antin's The Promised Land serves as an occasion for a reexamination of the concept of assimilation in American literature, and the chapter on Zitkala-a is the most comprehensive analysis of her narratives to date. Winter argues persuasively that Griggs should have long been a more visible presence in American literary history, and the exploration of Sui Sin Far reveals her to be the embodiment of the varied and unpredictable ways that diversity of cultures came together in America. In American Narratives, Winter maintains that the writings of these four rediscovered authors, with their emphasis on issues of ethnicity, identity, and nationality, fit squarely in the American realist tradition. She also establishes a multiethnic dialogue among these writers, demonstrating ways in which cultural identity and national belonging are peristently contested in this literature.
Publication Date: 2007
Asian American Literature by This critical study of Asian American literature discusses work by internationally successful writers such as Maxine Hong Kingston, Chang-rae Lee, Bharati Mukherjee, Amy Tan and others in their historical, cultural and critical contexts. The focus of this book is on contemporary writing, from the 1970s onwards, although it also traces over a hundred years of Asian American literary production in prose, poetry, drama and criticism. The main body of the book comprises five periodized chapters that highlight important events in a nation-state that has historically rendered Asian Americans invisible. Of particular importance to the writers selected for case studies are questions of racial identity, cultural history and literary value with respect to dominant American ideologies.Key features* The first readily available introductory guide to Asian American literature* Discusses a representative range of Asian American literature, providing asense of the diversity of the field and of its key themes and modes of writing* Provides close readings of key texts in the form of case studies in their cultural, historical and critical contexts* Encourages reflection on questions of literary value, canonicity and the scopeand purpose of literary studies
Publication Date: 2008
A Companion to African American Literature by Through a series of essays that explore the forms, themes, genres, historical contexts, major authors, and latest critical approaches, A Companion to African American Literature presents a comprehensive chronological overview of African American literature from the eighteenth century to the modern day Examines African American literature from its earliest origins, through the rise of antislavery literature in the decades leading into the Civil War, to the modern development of contemporary African American cultural media, literary aesthetics, and political ideologies Addresses the latest critical and scholarly approaches to African American literature Features essays by leading established literary scholars as well as newer voices
Publication Date: 2010
Critical Companion to Kurt Vonnegut by Kurt Vonnegut is one of the most popular and admired authors of post-war American literature—famous both for his playful and deceptively simple style as well as for his scathing critiques of social injustice and war.
Critical Companion to Kurt Vonnegut provides a reliable, up-to-date, and encyclopedic source of information on Vonnegut's life and work for high school and college-level students, teachers, libraries, and the general public. This new book covers all his works, including his novels, such as the unforgettable Slaughterhouse-Five; his short stories, such as "Harrison Bergeron"; and his lectures and essays. Detailed entries on his life, related people, places, and topics are also included in this comprehensive guide.
Publication Date: 2009
Crossing Cultures: Hispanic Authors and the Challenges They Overcame in the United States : Cruzando Culturas: Autores Hispanos y Sus Desafíos Superados en Los Estados Unidos by Crossing Cultures/Cruzando culturas focuses on the creation of literary works and how these works reflect the life experiences of the authors. The purpose of this book is to inspire young Mexican-American, Hispanic, and Latino people by demonstrating that education is the key to life through the example of authors who have become successful in spite of their modest beginnings. Their love for education and their drive to improve themselves has turned them into nationally and internationally known authors recognized by major publishing companies. Their books in English have been translated quickly into other languages. The interviews reveal not only the authors’ origins but also how they were able to overcome difficulties and challenges in their lives. The interviewed novelists include Mario Bencastro, Aristeo Brito, Rolando J. Díaz, Graciela Limón, and Demetria Martínez. Interviews conducted in English with Mexican-American writers are included in their original English version along with a proper Spanish translation. This book comprises a valuable resource for university students who are pursuing a degree in Spanish, Chicano studies, and ethnic studies that facilitates understanding the various dynamics of the Hispanic experience through literature. Crossing Cultures/Cruzando culturas se enfoca en la creación de obras literarias y como estas obras reflejan las experiencias de los autores. El propósito de este libro es inspirar a los jóvenes México-Americanos, Hispanos y Latinos al demostrar que la educación es la llave que les abre las puertas del triunfo en la vida. El ejemplo de los autores que han sido exitosos a pesar de sus raíces humildes les estimulará a salir adelante. El amor por la educación de estos escritores y su motivación para mejorarse los ha convertido en autores reconocidos nacionalmente e internacionalmente por las editoriales más reconocidas del mundo entero. Sus libros en inglés han sido traducidos a otras lenguas rápidamente. Las entrevistas revelan no solamente los orígenes de los escritores pero como lograron vencer las dificultades y desafíos en su vida. Los novelistas entrevistados incluyen a Mario Bencastro, Aristeo Brito, Rolando J. Díaz, Graciela Limón y Demetria Martínez. Las entrevistas realizadas en inglés con los escritores México-Americanos están incluidas en su forma original en inglés acompañadas por una traducción al español. Este libro comprende un recurso valioso para los investigadores universitarios que buscan especializarse en literatura o historia latina, chicana, o estudios étnicos que facilitan el entendimiento de las dinámicas variadas de la experiencia hispana a través de la literatura.
Publication Date: 2011
Desire, Violence, and Divinity in Modern Southern Fiction by In this groundbreaking study, Gary M. Ciuba examines how four of the South's most probing writers of twentieth-century fiction—Katherine Anne Porter, Flannery O'Connor, Cormac McCarthy, and Walker Percy—expose the roots of violence in southern culture. Ciuba draws on the paradigm of mimetic violence developed by cultural and literary critic René Girard, who maintains that individual human nature is shaped by the desire to imitate a model. Mimetic desire may lead in turn to rivalry, cruelty, and ultimately community-sanctioned —and sometimes ritually sanctified—victimization of those deemed outcasts. Ciuba offers an impressively broad intellectual discussion that gives universal cultural meaning to the southern experience of desire, violence, and divinity with which these four authors wrestled and out of which they wrote. In a comprehensive analysis of Porter's semiautobiographical Miranda stories, Ciuba focuses on the prescribed role of women that Miranda imitates and ultimately escapes. O'Connor's The Violent Bear It Away reveals three characters whose scandalous animosity caused by religious rivalry leads to the unbearable stumbling block of violence. McCarthy's protagonist in Child of God, Lester Ballard, appears as the culmination of a long tradition of the sacred violence of southern religion, twisted into his own bloody faith. And Percy's The Thanatos Syndrome brings Ciuba's discussion back to the victim, in Tom Moore's renunciation of a society in which scapegoating threatens to become the foundation of a new social regime. From nostalgia for the old order to visions of a utopian tomorrow, these authors have imagined the interrelationship of desire, antagonism, and religion throughout southern history. Ciuba's insights offer new ways of reading Porter, O'Connor, McCarthy, and Percy as well as their contemporaries who inhabited the same culture of violence—violence desired, dreaded, denied, and deified.
Publication Date: 2011
Don DeLillo by Don DeLillo – winner of the National Book Award, the William Dean Howells Medal, and the Jerusalem Prize – is one of the most important novelists of the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries. While his work can be understood and taught as prescient and postmodern examples of millennial culture, this book argues that DeLillo’s recent novels – White Noise, Libra, Mao II, Underworld, and The Body Artist – are more concerned with spiritual crisis. Although DeLillo’s worlds are rife with rejection of belief and littered with faithfulness, estrangement, and desperation, his novels provide a balancing moral corrective against the conditions they describe. Speaking the vernacular of contemporary America, DeLillo explores the mysteries of what it means to be human.
Publication Date: 2003
Fascinating Rhythm: Reading Jazz in American Writing by How have American writers written about jazz, and how has jazz influenced American literature? In Fascinating Rhythm, David Yaffe explores the relationship and interplay between jazz and literature, looking at jazz musicians and the themes literature has garnered from them by appropriating the style, tones, and innovations of jazz, and demonstrating that the poetics of jazz has both been assimilated into, and deeply affected, the development of twentieth-century American literature. Yaffe explores how Jewish novelists such as Norman Mailer, J. D. Salinger, and Philip Roth engaged issues of racial, ethnic, and American authenticity by way of jazz; how Ralph Ellison's descriptions of Louis Armstrong led to a "neoconservative" movement in contemporary jazz; how poets such as Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, Langston Hughes, and Frank O'Hara were variously inspired by the music; and how memoirs by Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, and Miles Davis both reinforced and redeemed the red light origins of jazz. The book confronts the current jazz discourse and shows how poets and novelists can be placed in it--often with problematic results. Fascinating Rhythm stops to listen for the music, demonstrating how jazz continues to speak for the American writer.
Publication Date: 2005
Faulkner At 100 by Essays in centennial celebration of William Faulkner and his achievement With essays and commentaries by André Bleikasten, Joseph Blotner, Larry Brown, Thadious M. Davis, Susan V. Donaldson, Doreen Fowler, The Reverend Duncan M. Gray, Jr., Minrose C. Gwin, Robert W. Hamblin, W. Kenneth Holditch, Lothar Hönnighausen, Richard Howorth, John T. Irwin, Donald M. Kartiganer, Robert C. Khayat, Arthur F. Kinney, Thomas L. McHaney, John T. Matthews, Michael Millgate, David Minter, Richard C. Moreland, Gail Mortimer, Albert Murray, Noel Polk, Carolyn Porter, Hans H. Skei, Judith L. Sensibar, Warwick Wadlington, Philip M. Weinstein, Judith Bryant Wittenberg, and Karl F. Zender William Faulkner was born September 25, 1897. In honor of his centenary the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference of 1997 brought together twenty-five of the most important Faulkner scholars to examine the achievement of this writer generally regarded as the finest American novelist of the twentieth century. The panel discussions and essays that make up Faulkner at 100: Retrospect and Prospect provide a comprehensive account of the man and his work, including discussions of his life, the shape of his career, and his place in American literature, as well as fresh readings of such novels as The Sound and the Fury, Sanctuary, Absalom, Absalom!, If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem, and Go Down, Moses. Spanning the full range of critical approaches, the essays address such issues as Faulkner's use of African American dialect as a form of both appropriation and repudiation, his frequent emphasis on the strength of heterosexual desire over actual possession, the significance of his incessant role-playing, and the surprising scope of his reading. Of special interest are the views of Albert Murray, the African American novelist and cultural critic. He tells of reading Faulkner in the 1930s while a student at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. What emerges from this commemorative volume is a plural Faulkner, a writer of different value and meaning to different readers, a writer still challenging readers to accommodate their highly varied approaches to what André Bleikasten calls Faulkner's abiding "singularity." At the University of Mississippi Donald M. Kartiganer fills the William Howry Chair in Faulkner Studies in the department of English and Ann J. Abadie is associate director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.
Publication Date: 2009
Immigration Narratives in Young Adult Literature: Crossing Borders by Although the United States prides itself as a nation of diversity, the country that boasts of its immigrant past also wrestles with much of its immigrant present. While conflicting attitudes about immigration are debated, newcomers—both legal and otherwise—continue to arrive on American soil. And books about the immigrant experience—aimed at both adults and youth—are published with a fair amount of frequency. In Immigration Narrative in Young Adult Literature: Crossing Borders, Joanne Brown explores the experiences of adolescents as portrayed in young adult novels. Her study features protagonists from a wide variety of religious and ethnic backgrounds in order to provide a complete discussion of the immigration experience of young adults. In this volume, Brown analyzes young adult novels that portray various aspects of the immigrant experience—journeys to the shores of the United States, the difficulties of adjustment, and the tensions that develop within family units as a result of immigration. Brown also examines how ethnicity, religion, and country of origin affect the adolescent characters' adjustment to their new country, as well as the process of moving from social outsiders to accepted citizens. This thoroughly researched book includes theories of adolescent development and perspectives on immigration itself applied to the literary analyses. It also offers a framework for anticipating the success of young immigrants and relates this analysis to the novels Brown discusses. With an appendix of additional novels for further reading, this book will be a useful resource for librarians and teachers of adolescent literature, as well as for students, both those born in the United States and those who are immigrants themselves.
Publication Date: 2010-12-02
Marriage, Violence and the Nation in the American Literary West by In Marriage, Violence and the Nation in the American Literary West, William R. Handley examines literary interpretations of the Western American past. Handley argues that although scholarship provides a narrative of western history that counters optimistic story of frontier individualism by focusing on the victims of conquest, twentieth-century American fiction tells a different story of intra-ethnic violence surrounding marriages and families. He examines works of historiography,as well as writing by Zane Grey, Willa Cather, Wallace Stegner and Joan Didion among others, to argue that these works highlight white Americans' anxiety about what happens to American 'character' when domestic enemies such as Indians and Mormon polygamists, against whom the nation had defined itself in the nineteenth century, no longer threaten its homes. Handley explains that once its enemies are gone, imperialism brings violence home in retrospective narratives that allegorise national pasts and futures through intimate relationships.
Publication Date: 2002
The Meaning of Rivers: Flow and Reflection in American Literature by In the continental United States, rivers serve to connect state to state, interior with exterior, the past to the present, but they also divide places and peoples from one another. These connections and divisions have given rise to a diverse body of literature that explores American nature, ranging from travel accounts of seventeenth-century Puritan colonists to magazine articles by twenty-first-century enthusiasts of extreme sports. Using pivotal American writings to determine both what literature can tell us about rivers and, conversely, how rivers help us think about the nature of literature, The Meaning of Rivers introduces readers to the rich world of flowing water and some of the different ways in which American writers have used rivers to understand the world through which these waters flow. Embracing a hybrid, essayistic form—part literary theory, part cultural history, and part fieldwork—The Meaning of Rivers connects the humanities to other disciplines and scholarly work to the land. Whether developing a theory of palindromes or reading works of American literature as varied as Henry David Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers and James Dickey’s Deliverance, McMillin urges readers toward a transcendental retracing of their own interpretive encounters. The nature of texts and the nature of “nature” require diverse and versatile interpretation; interpretation requires not only depth and concentration but also imaginative thinking, broad-mindedness, and engaged connection-making. By taking us upstream as well as down, McMillin draws attention to the potential of rivers for improving our sense of place and time.
Publication Date: 2011
Modern Arab American Fiction: A Reader's Guide by Exploring the works of such best-selling authors as Rabih Alameddine, Mohja Kahf, Laila Halaby, Diana Abu-Jaber, Alicia Erian, and Randa Jarrar, Salaita highlights the development of each author’s writing and how each has influenced Arab American fiction. He examines common themes including the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Lebanese Civil War of 1975–90, the representation and practice of Islam in the United States, social issues such as gender and national identity in Arab cultures, and the various identities that come with being Arab American. Combining the accessibility of a primer with in-depth critical analysis, Modern Arab American Fiction is suitable for a broad audience, those unfamiliar with the subject area, as well as scholars of the literature.
Publication Date: 2011
Three American Poets: Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Herman Melville by William C. Spengemann describes the very different sorts of poetry Whitman, Dickinson, and Melville wrote, their comparable reasons for writing as they did, and the posthumous critical effects of their having done so. By linking these utterly singular poets and their work - verse connected by shared qualities of oddity, complexity, and difficulty - Spengemann illuminates the poets' efforts to create verse equal to the demands of a changing nineteenth century. All three responded to a widespread sense of loss - loss, above all, of Christian understandings of the origins, nature, and purpose of human existence, both individual and collective. All three, too, regarded poetry as the sole means of dealing with that loss and of comprehending not only a changing world but the old world from which the new one had departed, and hence the connections between the vanished, discredited past, the baffling present, and the as yet inscrutable future. Spengemann suggests that the poetic eccentricities of Whitman, Melville, and Dickinson arose directly from their use of poetry as a vehicle of thought; each devised a poetic language either to attempt to recover a lost sense of assurance threatened by the collapse of traditional faith or to discover an altogether new ground of knowledge and being. Spengemann guides us in parsing their respective poetics with masterful readings closely attuned to diction, syntax, meter, and figure. His authoritative and empirical descriptions of the poets' verse and their respective characteristic aesthetics afford us heightened access to the poems and the pleasures peculiar to them, in the process making us better readers of poetry in general
Publication Date: 2010