A Brief History of American Literature [NOOK Book]

Overview

Written in an informed and accessible by one of the leading authorities in the field, A Brief History of American Literature offers students and general readers alike a concise and thoroughly up-to-date history of the American literary tradition from its origins to the present day. While focusing on the full range of fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction that has been incorporated into the mainstream literary canon, Richard Gray also considers the contribution from several other popular American literary ...
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A Brief History of American Literature

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Overview

Written in an informed and accessible by one of the leading authorities in the field, A Brief History of American Literature offers students and general readers alike a concise and thoroughly up-to-date history of the American literary tradition from its origins to the present day. While focusing on the full range of fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction that has been incorporated into the mainstream literary canon, Richard Gray also considers the contribution from several other popular American literary traditions, including oral literature, folktales, spirituals, Westerns, detective stories, thrillers, and science fiction. Featured writers include Melville, Twain, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Pound, Eliot, and the works of these major American novelists and poets are discussed in the context of American social and cultural history. Consideration is also given to the myriad ways in which our understanding of American literature has evolved over the past twenty years. Compelling and authoritative, A Brief History of American Literaturewill prove an invaluable introduction to the full breadth and diversity of the American literary tradition.
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"This is a wonderful book. Writing in an elegantly accessiblestyle, Richard Gray offers the reader a truly comprehensivenarrative of American literature from the seventeenth to thetwenty-first centuries. The entire range, diversity, and richnessof American writing are made available here in a single, superblyauthoritative volume."
Andrew Hook, University of Glasgow

"Drawing upon a lifetime of reading and research in this field,and covering a huge range of material from the Bay PsalmBook to Walter Mosley, Richard Gray's Literature of theUnited States offers an excellent survey that holds theAmerican cultural tradition in a compelling, synoptic whole."
Paul Giles, University of Sydney

"Richard Gray's A Brief History of American Literature isan extraordinary achievement. Gray offers us a fascinating andnuanced overview of United States writing, employing literarysensibility to examine a range of periods and genres."
Susan Castillo, King's College, London

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781444392463
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Sales rank: 1,151,684
  • Product dimensions: 5.91 (w) x 9.84 (h) x 0.59 (d)
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Richard Gray is Professor of Literature at the University of Essex and former Distinguished Visiting Professor at a number of universities in the United States. He is the first specialist in American literature to be elected a Fellow of the British Academy and has published over a dozen books on the topic, including the award-winning  Writing the South  (Ideas of an American Region (1986) and The Life of William Faulkner: A Critical Biography (1944).  His History of  American Literature is widely considered to be one of the standard works on the subject.
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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix

1 The First Americans: American Literature During the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods 1

Imagining Eden 1

Writing of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods 1

2 Inventing Americas: The Making of American Literature 1800–1865 47

Making a Nation 47

The Making of American Myths 47

The Making of American Selves 59

The Making of Many Americas 71

The Making of an American Fiction and Poetry 90

3 Reconstructing the Past, Reimagining the Future: The Development of American Literature 1865–1900 115

Rebuilding a Nation 115

The Development of Literary Regionalisms 115

The Development of Literary Realism and Naturalism 130

The Development of Women’s Writing 143

The Development of Many Americas 148

4 Making It New: The Emergence of Modern American Literature 1900–1945 159

Changing National Identities 159

Between Victorianism and Modernism 159

The Inventions of Modernism 176

Traditionalism, Politics, and Prophecy 211

Community and Identity 226

Mass Culture and the Writer 242

5 Negotiating the American Century: American Literature since 1945 249

Towards a Transnational Nation 249

Formalists and Confessionals 249

Public and Private Histories 263

Beats, Prophets, and Aesthetes 281

The Art and Politics of Race 296

Realism and Its Discontents 314

Language and Genre 328

Creating New Americas 345

Index 373

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