The Literature of California, Volume 1: Native American Beginnings to 1945 / Edition 1

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2000 Hardcover 520215249. Brand New; 1.95 x 9.27 x 6.39 Inches; 870 pages; The Literature of California is a landmark publication--unmatched by any existing collection and ... distinguished by its breadth, variety of sources, and historical sweep. The editors have been refreshingly in. Read more Show Less

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The Literature of California is a landmark publication—unmatched by any existing collection and distinguished by its breadth, variety of sources, and historical sweep. The editors have been refreshingly inclusive and imaginative in their selection: some of the writers are internationally known, others are anthologized here for the first time. The richness of material, ranging from Native American origin myths to Hollywood novels dissecting the American Dream; from the familiar voices of John Steinbeck, Jack London, and William Saroyan to the less-well-known narratives of Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Josephine Miles, and Jade Snow Wong—all of it captures the spirit and scope of the state itself.

This first volume of the comprehensive two-volume anthology is divided into four parts. The first includes stories, legends, and songs of the indigenous tribes. The second section comprises letters, diaries, reports, and travel narratives that trace a century of exploration, discovery, and conquest. Part III includes Mother Lode tales by Mark Twain and Bret Harte, the first signs of California poetry, the rise of narrative by California women, the nature writing of John Muir and Mary Austin, and some of the earliest prose from writers of Asian background, as well as the maturing fiction of Jack London and Frank Norris. Part IV traces the period between the World Wars, when California literature came fully into its own.

A lively introduction contextualizes each section, and concise biographical material is included for each writer. Volume Two, to be published in 2007, concentrates on the second half of the twentieth-century, during which California became one of the most active literary regions in the world. A colossal contribution to the culture of the state, The Literature of California broadens our sense of this region's richness, both past and present, offering new ways of perceiving history, community, and oneself.

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Editorial Reviews

Sacramento Bee
The state's most ambitious literary anthology to date.
Los Angeles Times
As expansive and varied as California's own geography.
San Diego Union-Tribune
Treats us to a comprehensive look at that body of writing inspired by the Golden Land.
Library Journal
The ideal of California has historically brought many images to the minds of explorers. Whether it was Native Americans living on its land, gold diggers panning its waters, or technology gurus developing Silicon Valley, California has always opened its doors to disconnected people seeking refuge, power, spirituality, fame, or prosperity. The Literature of California, Vol. 1 offers a thorough, chronological review of the writings that flowed from these people. The volume begins with the Native American tales which initiated the spiritual quest that, to this day, continues to draw new residents to the West Coast. Part 2 contains letters, diaries, reports, and travel narratives from Clarence King, Dame Shirley, Sarah Eleanor Royce, and John Rollin Ridge, the first Native American to publish a novel. Part 3 features the stories of popular writers like Mark Twain, Bret Harte, Jack London, and Frank Norris. Part 4, which covers what the editors call "the period between the world wars," includes Robinson Jeffers, Dashiell Hammett, and Nathanael West. It is in these last two sections that the influence of Asian writers begins to take shape. Overall, the diversity and the inclusion of many female authors make this work refreshing. Readers will also come away with a respect for the spirituality embraced by so many of the travelers. A second volume is due in 2002. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520215245
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 12/5/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 653
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Hicks teaches California literature and directs the Graduate Creative Program at the University of California, Davis. James D. Houston's seven books of fiction/nonfiction include Continental Drift (California, 1996) and The Last Paradise (1998), which won the American Book Award. Maxine Hong Kingston is the author of The Woman Warrior (1976), China Men (1980), and Tripmaster Monkey (1989). An early draft of her fourth novel, The Fifth Book of Peace, was destroyed in a fire; the restored version will be published in 2000-2001. Al Young's twenty books include African American literary anthologies, memoirs, collections of poetry, and the novels Sitting Pretty (1976) and Who Is Angelina? (California, 1996).

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Table of Contents


General Introduction


Origins and the Way of the World

The Creation (Maidu)
The Creation: Turtle Island (Maidu)
Origin of the Mountains (Yokuts)
The Three Worlds (Chumash)
The Making of Man (Chumash)
Initiation Song (Yuki)
Cottontail and the Sun (Owens Valley Paiute)

Love, Marriage, Family

Puberty Dance Song (Wintu)
Three Love Songs (Wintu)
About-the-House Girl (Karok)
The Girl Who Married Rattlesnake (Pomo)
The Man and the Owls (Yokuts)
Coyote Cooks His Daughter (Cupeño)

Order, Community

An Ordered World (Miwok)
Prayer for Good Fortune (Yokuts)
Feast Oration (Wintu)

Chants, Dreams, and Dances

To the Edge of the Earth (Wintu)
Rattlesnake Ceremony Song (Yokuts)
Dream Time (Ohlone)
Four Dream Cult Songs (Wintu)
Dancing on the Brink of the World (Costanoan)

Old Age, Death, and the Afterlife

Old Gambler's Song (Konkow)
Grandfather's Prayer (Wintu)
Death Song (Cupeño)
Burial Oration (Wintu)
The Soul's Journey to Similaqsa (Chumash)
The Land of the Dead (Serrano)
Summons to a Mourning Ceremony (Miwok)

Garcí Rodriguez Ordóñez de Montalvo
"The Queen of California" from Las Sergas de Esplandían (c. 1510)
Fray Juan Crespí
"The Naming of Santa Ana and Los Angeles" from Fray Juan Crespí: Missionary Explorer of the Pacific Coast, 1769-1774 (1769)
Pedro Fages
"Report to the Viceroy" from A Historical, Political, and Natural Description of California (1773)
Jean François de la Pérouse
"A Visit to Carmel" from Voyage autour du Monde (1786)
Nikolai Rezanov
"A Letter to the Minister of Commerce" (1806)
Jedediah Strong Smith
"The Trapper and the Padre" from The Southwest Expeditions of Jedediah S. Smith: His Personal Account of the Journey to California, 1826-27 (1826)
Pablo Tac
"Our Games and Dances" from Conversion of the San Luiseños of Alta California (c. 1835)
Richard Henry Dana
"Haole and Kanaka" from Two Years before the Mast: A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea (1840)
John C. Frémont
"Some Points in Geography" from Report of the Exploring Mission to Oregon and North California (1845)
Lansford Hastings
From The Emigrants' Guide to Oregon and California (1845)
Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo
"The Bear Flag Party" from Recuerdos Historicos y Personales Tocante a la Alta California (1846)
Edwin Bryant
"The California Battalion" from What I Saw in California (1846)
Sarah Royce
From A Frontier Lady (1849)
Bayard Taylor
"San Francisco by Day and Night" from El Dorado, or Adventures in the Path of Empire (1849)
Louise Clappe [Dame Shirley]
"A Trip into the Mines" from The Shirley Letters (1852)
Eliza W. Farnham
From California In-Doors and Out (1856)
John Rollin Ridge [Yellow Bird]
From The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta, the Celebrated California Bandit (1854)
T'tcetsa [Lucy Young]
"Lucy's Story" from Out of the Past: A True Indian Story (c. 1862)
William Henry Brewer
"Los Angeles and Environs" from Up and Down California, 1860-64 (1864)
Clarence King
"Mount Shasta" from Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada (1872)

Samuel Clemens [Mark Twain]
"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" (1867)
From Roughing It (1872)
Bret Harte
The Outcasts of Poker Flats (1869)
Charles Warren Stoddard
Old Monterey (c. 1870)
Ina Coolbrith
Copa de Oro (The California Poppy)
The Mariposa Lily
Retrospect (In Los Angeles) (c. 1880)
Joaquin Miller
"Californian," from Songs of the Sierra (1872)
Ambrose Bierce
"Moxon's Master" (1893)
María Amparo Ruiz de Burton
From The Squatter and the Don (1885)
Thocmetony [Sarah Winnemucca]
From Life among the Piutes (1883)
Robert Louis Stevenson
From The Silverado Squatters (1883)
Helen Hunt Jackson
From Ramona (1884)
Josiah Royce
From California: A Study of American Character (1886)
Mary Hallock Foote
How the Pump Stopped at the Morning Watch (c. 1890)
Edwin Markham
The Man with a Hoe (1899)
The Sower (1901)
John Muir
From The Mountains of California (1894)
George Sterling
Beyond the Breakers
The Black Vulture (c. 1900)
Gertrude Atherton
From The Californians (1898)
Edith Maud Eaton [Sui Sin Far]
"In the Land of the Free" (1912)
Yone Noguchi
Some Stories of My Western Life
"Ah, Who Says So?" and "My Poetry" (1897)
Charles Fletcher Lummis
"Walking to Los Angeles" from "As I Remember" (unpublished ms., c. 1910)
L. Frank Baum
From Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (1908)
Anonymous Chinese Immigrants
Four Poems of Angel Island and Chinatown (c. 1910-1940)
Jack London
From Martin Eden (1908)
Frank Norris
From The Octopus (1901)
Mary Austin
From The Land of Little Rain (1903)

Robinson Jeffers
Continent's End
To the Stone Cutters
Tor House
Hurt Hawks
Rock and Hawk
The Purse-Seine
Carmel Point (c. 1924-1934)
Jaime de Angulo
From Indians in Overalls (1950)
Upton Sinclair
From Oil! (1927)
Dashiell Hammett
From The Maltese Falcon (1930)
Wallace Thurman
From The Blacker the Berry (1929)
Yvor Winters
See Los Angeles First
The Slow Pacific Swell
John Sutter
Moonlight Alert
The California Oaks (c. 1929-1939)
James M. Cain
From The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934)
William Saroyan
The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze (1934) Quarter, Half, Three-Quarter and Whole Notes (1936)
Horace McCoy
From They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1935)
George R. Stewart
From Ordeal by Hunger (1936)
John Steinbeck
From The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
Carey McWilliams
From Factories in the Field (1939)
Hildegarde Flanner
Noon on Alameda Street
12 O'Clock Freight
Lava Has Meaning
The Buck
Hawk Is a Woman (c. 1929-1939)
Josephine Miles
Tehachapi South
The Directors
Now That April's Here
Subdivision (c. 1935-1939)
John Fante
From Ask the Dust (1939)
Raymond Chandler
From The Big Sleep (1939)
Nathanael West
From The Day of the Locust (1939)
F. Scott Fitzgerald
From The Love of the Last Tycoon ([1941] 1994)
M. F. K. Fisher
The First Oyster (1943)
Idwal Jones
From The Vineyard (1942)
Toshio Mori
The Woman Who Makes Swell Doughnuts
The Eggs of the World
"He Who Has the Laughing Face" (1949)
Jade Snow Wong
From Fifth Chinese Daughter (1950)
Carlos Bulosan
From America Is in the Heart (1946)
Chester Himes
From If He Hollers Let Him Go (1945)
Further Reading
About the Editors
Permissions and Credits
Index of Authors and Titles

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