The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of New York

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New York holds a special place in America’s national mythology as both the gateway to the USA and as a diverse, vibrant cultural center distinct from the rest of the nation. From the international atmosphere of the Dutch colony New Amsterdam, through the expansion of the city in the nineteenth century, to its unique appeal to artists and writers in the twentieth, New York has given its writers a unique perspective on American culture. This Companion explores the range of writing and performance in the city, celebrating Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Edith Wharton, Eugene O’Neill, and Allen Ginsberg among a host of authors who have contributed to the city’s rich literary and cultural history. Illustrated and featuring a chronology and guide to further reading, this book is the ideal guide for students of American literature as well as for all who love New York and its writers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Patell and his co-editor Bryan Waterman have assembled a strong team of scholars and an attractive array of topics. One cannot but be grateful for all the insight and erudition assembled here. The contributors have made a bold stab at mapping the literary ground as it looks in our context-oriented, politically engaged new millennium...The scholarship is thorough and up-to-date...For those now arriving at the portals of New York culture, The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of New York will provide a valuable welcome."
-William Chapman Sharpe,
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Cyrus Patell is Associate Professor of English at New York University.

Bryan Waterman is Associate Professor of English at New York University.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations vii

Notes on contributors ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Chronology xiv

Introduction Cyrus R. K. Patell 1

1 From British outpost to American metropolis Robert Lawson-Peebles 10

2 Dutch New York from Irving to Wharton Elizabeth L. Bradley 27

3 The city on stage Bryan Waterman 42

4 Melville, at sea in the city Thomas Augst 58

5 Whitman's urbanism Lytle Shaw 76

6 The early literature of New York's moneyed class Caleb Crain 90

7 Writing Brooklyn Martha Nadell 109

8 New York and the novel of manners Sarah Wilson 121

9 Immigrants, politics, and the popular cultures of tolerance Eric Homberger 134

10 Performing Greenwich Village bohemianism Melissa Bradshaw 146

11 African American literary movements Thulani Davis 160

12 New York's cultures of print Trysh Travis 176

13 From poetry to punk in the East Village Daniel Kane 189

14 Staging lesbian and gay New York Robin Bernstein 202

15 Emergent ethnic literatures Cyrus R. K. Patell 218

Epilogue: Nostalgia and counter-nostalgia in New York City writing Bryan Waterman 232

Further reading 241

Index 244

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