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Other titles in the Blackwell Guides to Literature series:
Blackwell Guides to Literature #21: Twentieth-Century Amer Ficby Christopher J. Macgowan
Synopses & Reviews
Accessibly structured with entries on important historical contexts, central issues, key texts and the major writers, this Handbook provides an engaging overview of twentieth-century American fiction.
Featured writers range from Henry James and Theodore Dreiser to contemporary figures such as Joyce Carol Oates, Thomas Pynchon, and Sherman Alexie, and analyses of key works include The Great Gatsby, Lolita, The Color Purple, and The Joy Luck Club, among others. Relevant contexts for these works, such as the impact of Hollywood, the expatriate scene in the 1920s, and the political unrest of the 1960s are also explored, and their importance discussed.
This is a stimulating overview of twentieth-century American fiction, offering invaluable guidance and essential information for students and general readers.
Book News Annotation:
This comprehensive guide to American fiction in the twentieth century provides a wealth of information on contemporary writers and their writings. The work is divided into four sections covering historical contexts and eras, major writers, important texts and tropes and themes. Among the writers featured are Willa Cather, Vladimir Nabokov, John Steinbeck, Toni Morrison, John Dos Passos, Sinclair Lewis, and Leslie Marmon Silko. Each writer is examined through a brief biography and samples of important texts include criticism and analysis. McGowan is a professor of English at the College of William and Mary. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This student-friendly handbook provides an engaging overview of American fiction over the twentieth century, with entries on the important historical contexts and central issues, as well as the major texts and writers.
About the Author
Christopher MacGowan is Professor of English at the College of William and Mary, USA. His numerous publications include work on William Carlos Williams, Denise Levertov, Sherwood Anderson, Ford Madox Ford, and Vladimir Nabokov.
Table of Contents
How to Use This Book.
Chronology: Significant Dates and Events, 1900–2000.
Part 1 Historical Contexts.
The American Scene, c.1900.
Expatriates: 1920s and Beyond.
Charting the Depression: The 1930s.
Post-war Alienation, Experiment, and Alternatives.
Multicultural America: Borders, Tradition, and Identity.
Part 2 Major Writers.
Henry James (1843–1916).
Edith Wharton (1862–1937).
Theodore Dreiser (1871–1945).
Willa Cather (1873–1947).
Gertrude Stein (1874–1946).
Sinclair Lewis (1885–1951).
Raymond Chandler (1888–1959).
Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960).
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940).
John Dos Passos (1896–1970).
William Faulkner (1897–1962).
Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961).
Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977).
Thomas Wolfe (1900–1938).
John Steinbeck (1902–1968).
Nathanael West (1903–1940).
Richard Wright (1908–1960).
William S. Burroughs (1914–1997).
Saul Bellow (1915–2005).
Norman Mailer (1923–2007).
James Baldwin (1924–1987).
John Barth (b.1930).
Toni Morrison (b.1931).
John Updike (1932–2009).
Philip Roth (b.1933).
Don DeLillo (b.1936).
Thomas Pynchon (b.1937).
Joyce Carol Oates (b.1938).
Raymond Carver (1938–1988).
Louise Erdrich (b.1954).
Sherman Alexie (b.1966).
Part 3 Key Texts.
Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (1900).
Henry James, The Wings of the Dove (1902).
Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth (1905).
Willa Cather, My Antonia (1918).
Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio (1919).
Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt (1922).
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925).
Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time (1925).
William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (1929).
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937).
Djuna Barnes, Nightwood (1937).
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (1939).
Richard Wright, Native Son (1940).
J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951).
Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood (1952).
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952).
Jack Kerouac, On the Road (1957).
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1958).
Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961).
William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch (1962).
Saul Bellow, Herzog (1964).
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1966).
Philip Roth, Portnoy's Complaint (1969).
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (1977).
Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982).
Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street (1984).
William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984).
Don DeLillo, White Noise (1985).
Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987).
Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club (1989).
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses (1992).
Part 4 Themes.
Race and American Fiction.
The American Short Story.
Hollywood and American Fiction.
Women and Twentieth-Century American Fiction.
Guide to Further Reading.
What Our Readers Are Saying