A Companion to the Regional Literatures of America / Edition 1

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The Blackwell Companion to American Regional Literature is the most comprehensive resource yet published for study of this popular field.

  • The most inclusive survey yet published of American regional literature.
  • Represents a wide variety of theoretical and historical approaches.
  • Surveys the literature of specific regions from California to New England and from Alaska to Hawaii.
  • Discusses authors and groups who have been important in defining regional American literature.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A Companion to the Regional Literatures of America is a significant achievement and could prove a powerful tool for those who wish to make considerations of space and place even more central to their disciplines.” Jeremy Wells, Western American Literature

'In short, Charles L. Crow's volume is a must, an essential purchase.' Reference Reviews

Library Journal
Although steeply priced, this lengthy volume offers a much-needed overview for academic libraries currently wanting works that focus on regional literatures of the United States. In his lucid summary, editor Crow (American Gothic: An Anthology 1787-1917) introduces the theory and growing popularity of these writings, asserting that they initially gained favor among female writers and are today best defined as pieces that examine "small and private lives." His summary is followed by a series of 30 scholarly essays, contributed by many experts in the field, which are loosely divided into three sections. The first is dedicated to the history and theory of regionalism, the second continues the exploration by "mapping" specific regions (e.g., New England, the Great Plains, Big Sky Country, Texas, and Hawaii), while the third focuses on regionalist masters, featuring chapters on Willa Cather, Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Mary Austin, and Wallace Stegner. Students in need of serious academic essays on these authors will not be disappointed. Each essay includes extensive references and further reading lists, and the index is superb. Highly recommended.-Jan Brue Enright, Augustana Coll. Lib., Sioux Falls, SD Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Charles L. Crow is Emeritus Professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He is co-editor of The Haunted Dusk: American Supernatural Fiction, 1820-1920 (1984) and The Occult in America: New Historical Perspectives (1983), and editor of American Gothic: An Anthology (Blackwell Publishing, 1999). He has been president of the Frank Norris Society, and a member of the executive council of the Western Literature Association.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Notes on Contributors ix

Acknowledgments xiv

Introduction 1

PART I History and Theory of Regionalism in the United States 5

1 Contemporary Regionalism 7
Michael Kowalewski

2 The Cultural Work of American Regionalism 25
Stephanie Foote

3 Letting Go our Grand Obsessions: Notes toward a New Literary History of the American Frontiers 42
Annette Kolodny

4 Region and Race: National Identity and the Southern Past 57
Lori Robison

5 Regionalism in the Era of the New Deal 74
Lauren Coats and Nihad M. Farooq

6 Realism and Regionalism 92
Donna Campbell

7 Taking Feminism and Regionalism toward the Third Wave 111
Krista Comer

8 Regionalism and Ecology 129
David Mazel

9 The City as Region 137
James Kyung-Jin Lee

10 Indigenous Peoples and Place 154
P. Jane Hafen

11 Borders, Bodies, and Regions: The United States and the Caribbean 171
Vera M. Kutzinski

PART II Mapping Regions 193

12 New England Literature and Regional Identity 195
Kent C. Ryden

13 The Great Plains 213
Diane D. Quantic

14 Forgotten Frontier: Literature of the Old Northwest 231
Bev Hogue

15 The Old Southwest: Humor, Tall Tales, and the Grotesque 247
Rosemary D. Cox

16 The Plantation School: Dissenters and Countermyths 266
Sarah E. Gardner

17 The Fugitive-Agrarians and the Twentieth-Century Southern Canon 286
Farrell O’Gorman

18 Romanticizing a Different Lost Cause: Regional Identities in Louisiana and the Bayou Country 306
Suzanne Disheroon-Green

19 The Sagebrush School Revived 324
Lawrence I. Berkove

20 Re-envisioning the Big Sky: Regional Identity, Spatial Logics, and the Literature of Montana 344
Susan Kollin

21 Regions of California: Mountains and Deserts 363
Nicolas Witschi

22 Regions of California: The Great Central Valley 379
Charles L. Crow

23 Los Angeles as a Literary Region 397
David Fine

24 North and Northwest: Theorizing the Regional Literatures of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest 412
Susan Kollin

25 Texas and the Great Southwest 432
Mark Busby

26 Hawai’i 458
Brenda Kwon

PART III Some Regionalist Masters 477

27 Bret Harte and the Literary Construction of the American West 479
Gary Scharnhorst

28 Mark Twain: A Man for All Regions 496
Lawrence I. Berkove

29 Willa Cather’s Glittering Regions 513
Robert Thacker

30 “I have seen America emerging”: Mary Austin’s Regionalism 532
Betsy Klimasmith

31 “I have never recovered from the country”: The American West of Wallace Stegner 551
Richard H. Cracroft

Index 572

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