In the American Grain

Overview

A new edition of William Carlos Williams’ loving and groundbreaking book about American history, with a new introduction by Rick Moody.

Although admired by D. H. Lawrence, this modern classic went generally unnoticed during the years after its publication in 1925. Yet it is “a fundamental book, essential if one proposes to come to terms with American literature” (Times Literary Supplement). William Carlos Williams was not a historian, but he was fascinated by the texture of ...

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In the American Grain (Second Edition)

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Overview

A new edition of William Carlos Williams’ loving and groundbreaking book about American history, with a new introduction by Rick Moody.

Although admired by D. H. Lawrence, this modern classic went generally unnoticed during the years after its publication in 1925. Yet it is “a fundamental book, essential if one proposes to come to terms with American literature” (Times Literary Supplement). William Carlos Williams was not a historian, but he was fascinated by the texture of American history. Beginning with Columbus’s discovery of the Indies and moving on through Sir Walter Raleigh, Cotton Mather, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Ben Franklin, Aaron Burr, Edgar Allan Poe, and Abraham Lincoln, Williams found in the fabric of familiar episodes new shades of meaning and configurations of character. He brought a poetic imagination to the task of reconstructing a live tradition for Americans, and what results is one of the finest works of prose to have been penned by any writer of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“His treatment is free and episodic, beginning with the Vikings and ending with Abraham Lincoln. (Daniel J. Boorstin, author of The Discoverers)”

“It is ever more apparent that Williams is this century’s major American poet. (The Chicago Tribune)”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811218498
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Series: New Directions Paperbook
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 643,807
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

William Carlos Williams (1883–1963), author of Paterson and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Pictures from Brueghel, is widely considered one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. Also a short-story writer, novelist, essayist, and translator, he helped in a big way to establish modernism in America.

Rick Moody is the award-winning author of Black Veil, Demonology, The Diviners, Garden State, The Ice Storm, Purple America, and Right Livelihoods.

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