Synopses & Reviews
During the pivotal period of America?s international emergence, between the Civil War and WWI, the aligned literary movements of Realism and Naturalism not only shaped the national literature of the age, but also left an indelible and far-reaching influence on twentieth-century American and world literature. Seeking to strip narrative from pious sentimentalities, and, according to William Dean Howells, to ?Apaint? life as it is, and human feelings in their true proportion and relation,? Realism is best represented by this volume?s masterly pieces by Twain, Henry James, Stephen Crane, Kate Chopin, and Willa Cather among others. The joining of Realist methods with the theories of Marx, Darwin, and Spencer to reveal the larger forces (biological, evolutionary, historical) which move humankind, are exemplified here in the fiction of such writers as Jack London, Frank Norris, and Theodore Dreiser.
The Portable American Realism Reader collects forty-seven of the best stories published in the United States between 1865 and 1918 - the most celebrated period of short fiction in American literary history. This great flowering of talent includes such classic stories as Mark Twain's "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog", Bret Harte's "The Luck of Roaring Camp", Ambrose Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", and Henry James's "The Beast in the Jungle". The volume's editors have also expanded the sweep of American Realism to embrace works by less well known African-American, Asian-American, and Native-American writers. In addition, there is a special emphasis on the contributions of women writers to this crucial period of American letters, with stories by Kate Chopin, Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Mary Austin, among others.
During the pivotal period of America's international emergence between the Civil War and WWI, the aligned literary movements of Realism and Naturalism not only shaped the national literature of the age, but also left an indelible and far-reaching influence on 20th-century American and world literature. Here is an extensive collection of the finest short fiction of the Realism period.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -591).
About the Author
James Nagel, Edison Distonguished Professor of English at the University of Georgia, has edited several collections on the works of Ernest Hemingway, Stephen Crane, and Hamlin Garland, as well as the Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics edition of John Steinbeck's Pastures of Heaven.
Tom Quirk is the Catherine Paine Middlebush Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is the editor of the Penguin Classics editions of Mark Twain's Tales, Speeches, Essays, and Sketches (1994) and Ambrose Bierce's Tales of Soldiers and Civilians and Other Stories (2000) and co-editor of The Portable American Realism Reader (1997). His other books include Coming to Grips with Huckleberry Finn (1993), Mark Twain: A Study of the Short Fiction (1997) and Nothing Abstract: Investigations in the American Literary Imagination (2001).
Table of Contents
The Historical Context by Tom Quirk
The Literary Context by James Nagel
Suggestions for Further Reading
Part I: Regionalism and Local Color
MARK TWAIN, "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog"
BRET HARTE, "The Luck of Roaring Camp"
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, "The Minister's Housekeeper"
GEORGE WASHINGTON CABLE, "Belles Demoiselles Plantation"
CONSTANCE FENIMORE WOOLSON, "Rodman the Keeper"
SARAH ORNE JEWETT, "A White Heron"
MARY WILKINS FREEMAN, "A Church Mouse"
ROSE TERRY COOKE, "How Celia Changed Her Mind"
GRACE ELIZABETH KING, "La Grande Demoiselle"
KATE CHOPIN," Athénaïse"
ALICE DUNBAR-NELSON, "The Goodness of Saint Rocque"
Part II: Realism
JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS, "Free Joe and the Rest of the World"
SARAH ORNE JEWETT, "Miss Tempy's Watchers"
CHARLES W. CHESNUTT, "The Sheriff's Children"
HAMLIN GARLAND, "The Return of a Private"
AMBROSE BIERCE, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"
MARY WILKINS FREEMAN, "The Revolt of 'Mother'"
HAROLD FREDERIC, "My Aunt Susan"
HENRY JAMES, "The Real Thing"
CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN, "The Yellow Wallpaper"
KATE CHOPIN, "Désirée's Baby"
MADELENE YALE WYNNE, "The Little Room"
HENRY JAMES, "The Beast in the Jungle"
STEPHEN CRANE, "The Blue Hotel"
STEPHEN CRANE, "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky"
ABRAHAM CAHAN, "A Providential Match"
ALICE DUNBAR-NELSON, "Sister Josepha"
CHARLES W. CHESTNUTT, "The Wife of His Youth"
ZITKALA-SÄ, "The Trial Path"
EDITH WHARTON, "The Other Two"
WILLA CATHER, "A Wagner Matinée"
WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS, "Editha"
MARY AUSTIN, "The Walking Woman"
ZONA GALE, "Nobody Rich, Nobody Poor"
SUI SIN FAR, "Mrs. Spring Fragrance"
Part III: Naturalism
STEPHEN CRANE, "The Men in the Storm"
STEPHEN CRANE, "An Experiment in Misery"
STEPHEN CRANE, "The Open Boat"
HAMLIN GARLAND, "Under the Lion's Paw"
THEODORE DREISER, "Curious Shifts of the Poor"
JACK LONDON, "The Law of Life"
FRANK NORRIS, "A Deal in Wheat"
PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR, "The Lynching of Jube Benson"
JOHN M. OSKISON, "The Problem of Old Harjo"
JACK LONDON, "To Build a Fire"
THEODORE DREISER, "The Second Choice"
Notes on the Texts