Literature: Craft and Voice / Edition 2

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Bringing writers to readers brings readers to writing.

Today’s students do read—we know that they read a significant amount of email, text messages, web pages, and even magazines. What many do not do is read in a sustained way. Many do not come to college prepared to read long texts, nor do they come with the tools necessary to analyze and synthesize what they read. Nick Delbanco and Alan Cheuse have proven in their own teaching that when you improve students’ ability and interest in reading, you will help them improve their writing. A new part 1 in this edition frontloads information for students on both the writing process and the critical use of sources.

Bringing writers to students, brings students to writing.

Literature: Craft and Voice is an innovative Introductory Literature program designed to engage students in the reading of Literature, all with a view to developing their reading, analytical, and written skills. Accompanied by, and integrated with, video interviews of dozens of living authors who are featured in the text, conducted by authors Nick Delbanco and Alan Cheuse specifically for use with their textbook, the book provides a living voice for the literature on the page and creates a link between the student and the authors of great works of literature. The first text of its kind, Literature: Craft and Voice offers a more enjoyable and effective reading experience through its fresh, inviting design and accompanying rich video program. Digital support is provided through CONNECT Literature which will be totally integrated with the Blackboard CMS.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780073384924
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
  • Publication date: 1/20/2012
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 1696
  • Sales rank: 89,169
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicholas Delbanco

Nick Delbanco is the Robert Frost Distinguished University Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, where he formerly directed the prestigious Hopwood Awards Program in creative writing and where the Delbanco Prize was established in his honor for students who need financial assistance to attend the Hopwood Program (only 25 students are admitted each year). He is also a co-founder (together with the late John Gardner) of the Bennington Writing Workshops

As the Delbanco Prize implies, Nick is a beloved teacher and through his teaching has been in the thick of the modern literary scene. His students have praised his enormous frame of literary reference, his eagerness to devour a new work, and his ability to home in on its weaknesses. Richard Tillinghast, a poet and colleague at Michigan, said of Nick, “When you have someone with an eye and ear like Nick's, you can really learn a lot about what talents you have and how to use them.”

Describing Nick’s teaching style, the New York Times said, “Mr. Delbanco delights in horrifying his students by urging them to imitate rather than innovate. He tells them that imitation is the surest route to originality and warns against self-expression, self-discovery.” His students also talk of his sociability (he loves a good story, to tell it and to hear it), his honesty, and his devotion to his students. One student said, “He gave me confidence when I had no confidence. He's also very blunt and honest. He has no problem tossing your manuscript back at you and saying, 'This stinks.' He would dismantle me and then take me into his office and tell me I could be a writer.”

Nick has won several awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two Writer’s Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of twenty-four books of fiction and non-fiction, a frequent contributor to Harper’s, and often seen in the New York Times. Some have called him a “writer’s writer” --to which he replies “it's hard to see it as an insult at all. The worst you could say is that it's a kind way of saying nobody buys your books.” He has written a previous McGraw-Hill text, The Sincerest Form: Writing Fiction through Imitation. His most recent novel is The Count of Concord, a work of historical fiction that tells the tale of Count Rumford: inventor of the coffeepot, philosopher, and spy (among other things). The Chicago Sun says, “Novelist Nicholas Delbanco has done us a great service by rescuing Rumford from obscurity…In ‘The Count of Concord’ we see a veteran novelist working at the height of his powers.”

Alan Cheuse

Alan Cheuse has been reviewing books on All Things Considered since the 1980s.

Formally trained as a literary scholar, Alan also writes fiction and novels and publishes short stories. He is the author of three novels, two collections of short fiction, and the memoir Fall out of Heaven. With Caroline Marshall, he has edited two volumes of short stories. Alan’s short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The Antioch Review, Ploughshares, and Another Chicago Magazine. His most recent collection of his short fiction was published in September 1998 and his essay collection, Listening to the Page, appeared in 2001.

Alan splits his time between the two coasts, spending nine months of the year in Washington, D.C., where he teaches writing at George Mason University. His summers are spent in Santa Cruz, Calif. teaching writing at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Cheuse earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature with a focus on Latin American literature from Rutgers University in 1974.

"The greatest challenge of this work [at NPR]," he says, "is to make each two-minute review as fresh and interesting as you can while trying to focus on the essence of the book itself."

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Table of Contents

detailed contents
Foreword to the Student video interview with the authors available online @ xxx

A Conversation on Writing with John Updike, video

interview available online @ xxx

John Updike, A&P

A summer job turns into a life-lesson when three girls in bathing suits walk in to a sea-side supermarket.

Kate Chopin, Story of an Hour

Love, and its burdens, can be dangerous for the heart.

Alice Munro, An Ounce of Cure

A Canadian high-school girl raids the liquor cabinet while babysitting, and the ceiling begins spinning like a great plate--as does her future.
CHAPTER 2: GOING FURTHER : An Interactive Reading

An Interactive Reading: Anton Chekhov, Rapture, translated by Patrick Miles and Harvey Pitcher

A young Russian man discovers alcohol, and the world discovers him.

A Student Critical Response

A Conversation on Writing with the Richard Ford, video interview available online @ xxx

Richard Ford, Optimists

A Montana family at the table, the father strikes a terrible blow against the future.

A Conversation on Writing with Amy Tan, video interview available online @ xxx

Amy Tan, Two Kinds

A young Asian-American woman in San Francisco wrestles with her identity.

A Conversation on Writing with Jamaica Kincaid, video interview available online @ xxx

Jamaica Kincaid, Girl

An island girl’s mother talks and talks—but does the girl listen?

A Student’s Critical Analysis Paper on Girl (three drafts)

A Conversation on Writing with T. Coraghessan Boyle, video interview available online @ xxx

T. Coraghessan Boyle, Greasy Lake

A place we’ve all visited, some never to return.

James Joyce, Araby

A young Dublin boy’s quest to please a girl changes his life.

Naguib Mahfouz, The Conjurer Made Off with the Dish, translated by Denys Johnson-Davies

His mother sends him into the streets of Cairo with a dish to fill with beans…and a meeting with a street magician knocks him off course.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Circumcision

An old religious custom alters the way one young Indonesian Muslim sees the world.

A Checklist: Reading for Plot

Suggestions for Writing about Plot

A Conversation on Writing with Gish Jen, video interview available online @ xxx

Gish Jen, Who’s Irish?

An immigrant mother turns her family, and her own life, inside out.

Katherine Anne Porter, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall

A dying old woman relives her most memorable hour and days.

Willa Cather, Paul’s Case

Some money from the till, and a train ticket out of Pittsburgh to New York City make for a striving young man quite a dangerous escapade.

Jack London, A Wicked Woman

Loretta thought she was a wicked wicked woman, but did the world agree?

A Checklist: Reading for Character

Suggestions for Writing about Character

A Conversation on Writing with Barry Lopez, video interview available online @ xxx

Barry Lopez, The Location of the River

A modern westerner meets the strange truths of old maps and ancient traditions.

Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher

The cursed relationship of a brother and sister brings down the house.

Eudora Welty, Why I Live at the P.O.

Before TV sitcoms, there was Sister’s family down in Mississippi.

Bernard Malamud, The Magic Barrel

How to arrange love in immigrant New York—with complications a young fellow hadn’t figured on.

A Checklist: Reading for Setting

Suggestions for Writing about Setting

A Conversation on Writing with Z. Z. Packer, video interview available online @ xxx

Z. Z. Packer, Brownies

A troop of young black girls find togethernes and estrangement in the world of camps and badges.

Ernest Hemingway, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

An African safari yields dangerous results for animals and their hunters.

Lorrie Moore, How to Become a Writer Or, Have You Earned This Cliché?

Instructions on how to write, and how to live with what you write—a comedy of typing.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper

Diary of a woman confined to her room on rest cure—but is she alone?

A Checklist: Reading for Point of View

Suggestions for Writing about Point of View

A Conversation on Writing with Aimee Bender, video interview available online @ xxx

Aimee Bender, The Rememberer

Love alters not—though the beloved changes, and changes, and changes.

Thomas Wolfe, Only the Dead Know Brooklyn

A trip into the subway, and the world of urban mythology, all of it wid a Brooklin aksent…

Ha Jin, Saboteur

The Chius take a honeymoon trip to a provincial Chinese town, and an incident turns honey to ashes.

Junot Diaz, How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie

How to solve a wonderful multicultural dilemma for a young multicultural guy.

A Checklist: Reading for Language, Tone, and Style

Suggestions for Writing about Language, Tone, and Style

A Conversation on Writing with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, video interview available online @ xxx

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Cell One

Her brother gets arrested, and the family erupts, and a young Nigerian girl learns some new truths.

Stephen Crane, The Open Boat

Four men against the sea, in an adventure off the coast of Florida.

D. H. Lawrence, The Odour of Chrysanthemums

The news is not good in a small English coal-mining town as mother and son wrestle with a terrible event.

Jhumpa Lahiri, The Interpreter of Maladies

A clash of cultures in the Indian countryside, attended by monkeys.

A Checklist: Reading for Theme

Suggestions for Writing about Theme

A Conversation on Writing with Tim O’Brien, video interview available online @ xxx

Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

On patrol in the jungles of Vietnam, bearing the burden of the past and the terrors of the future…

Elizabeth Tallent, No One’s a Mystery

The end of her first love affair, over the speed limit, and under the age limit, in Wyoming…

Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown

In old New England, the dark woods at night prove to be filled with dangers and temptations.

Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

Gregor wakes up one morning to discover he’s been transformed into an insect. What’s worse—he’s late for work!

A Checklist: Reading for Symbol

Suggestions for Writing about Symbol

A Conversation on Writing with Joyce Carol Oates, video interview available online @ xxx

Three Girls

Is that…? Could it be…? Some girls at a used book store in NYC have a special celebrity sighting…

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

A teenage girl is courted by the worst possible suitor.

Getting Started: A Research Project

Further suggestions for Writing and Research

Some Sources for Research
Two Case Studies

A Conversation on Writing with William Kittredge, video interview available online @ xxx

William Kittredge, Thirty-Four Seasons of Winter

Two Montana brothers, and thirty-four years of work, fights, and thwarted love.

A Conversation on Writing with Dagoberto Gilb, video interview available online @ xxx

Dagoberto Gilb, Romero’s Shirt

For love of an old wool shirt, an El Paso man comes to terms with his difficult life.

John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums

When a visitor arrives to sharpen her knives, a California farm wife sharpens her understanding of herself and her marriage.

Leslie Marmon Silko, The Man to Send Rain Clouds

How to bury an old Indian rain maker—with the help of the local priest or not?

Sylvia Watanabe, Talking to the Dead

One generation of Hawaiians passes the knowledge to the next generation—but how to receive it?

Flannery O’Connor

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Granny is trying to be a good woman, but how good do she or her family have to be to avoid death at the hands of the Kid and his gang?


Insights into the Power and Glory of things come in the strangest places.

William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily

A proud old woman, a small Mississippi town, and a terrible secret revealed.

Barn Burning

A father and son struggle about the question of a fire.

Ralph Ellison

Battle Royal

This graduation day one black student discovers his hopes, and some awful truth about the powers that be.

A Party Down at the Square

A young visitor from Kentucky witnesses horror in a Southern town square.

Getting Started: A Research Project

Further suggestions for Writing and Research

Some Sources for Research

Gareth Hinds, Beowulf: The Graphic Novel [Grendel’s Defeat]

Beowulf [Grendel’s Approach and Demise], translated by CB Tinker

Two Novel Adaptations:

John Gardner, Grendel [Grendel’s first glimpse of Beowulf; Grendel’s demise]

Michael Crichton, Eaters of the Dead [Ibn Fadlan’s first glimpse of Buliwyf; battle with the Wendol]

Two Film Adaptations:

The 13th Warrior (film stills of Grendel’s defeat)

Beowulf: The Movie (film stills of Grendel’s defeat)

Getting Started: A Research Project

Further suggestions for Writing and Research

Some Sources for Research

A Conversation on Writing with Amy Hempel, video interview available online @ xxx

Amy Hempel, San Francisco

Who has mama’s watch? A tumultuous wake after an earthquake of a death.

Sherman Alexie, What You Pawn I Will Redeem

An alcoholic street Indian rescues his grandmother’s dancing regalia—and himself—from near-certain oblivion.

Margaret Atwood, Happy Endings

How many happy endings can one story have?

James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues

A black man from New York tries to be his musician brother’s keeper, but the brother won’t be kept.

J.L. Borges, The Circular Ruins, translated by Anthony Bonner

You may be dreaming, but who is dreaming you?

Raymond Carver, Cathedral

A blind man leads a sighted man to new insights about life and love.

Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Pet Dog, translated by Avrahm Yarmolinsky

Adultery, and its aftermath, at a Russian sea-side resort.

Zora Neale Hurston, The Gilded Six-Bits

The costs of a carefree life among black Georgia workers turn out to be more expensive than anyone thought.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World, translated by Gregory Rabassa

An encounter with death leads a Columbian village to a celebration of life.

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Kerastion

She had made that instrument, the kerastion, the flute that is played only at a funeral. But can she hear its tune?

Katherine Mansfield, Miss Brill

Every Sunday in the park, Miss Brill wears her fur—except an overheard remark makes this Sunday her last.

Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street

One man’s determined campaign to defy his employer, a city, and the world.

Ana Menendez, Traveling Madness

A Cuban visionary takes off for the skies and his troubles balloon.

R. K. Narayan, An Astrologer’s Day

He was as much a stranger to the stars as were his innocent customers, but one particular day his luck began to shine.

Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude

Matters of life and death, in old Russia, impinging on our own lives and time.

Alice Walker, Everyday Use

For a Southern black country family, the times they are a-changing…but how much change does a family need?
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