Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology

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Overview

The Literature of the American South reconsiders
southern writing from its seventeenth-century origins to its
flourishing present. Featuring the works of eighty-seven classic,
contemporary, and newly recovered writers of all genres-poetry, short
fiction, drama, novels, autobiography, criticism, sermons, memoirs,
journals, and letters-this groundbreaking anthology sheds new light on
the creative power of the southern imagination.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Writing from his experience as a professor of American and English literature at the University of Kentucky, Bryant has compiled here a thorough guidehe calls it a "primer"to the literary output of 20th-century Southerners. From this premise, Bryant is able to include writers like Ralph Ellison, James Agee and William Styron who migrated north but whose works nonetheless both inform and are informed by the regional experience of the South. In more or less chronological order, Bryant leads the reader from the early plantation fiction with its idealized notions of the Old South, through the various movements centered around Vanderbilt Universitythe Fugitives, the Agrarians and the New Criticismall of which contributed greatly to the mid-century "Southern Renaissance," and beyond to a broad discussion of postmodern and contemporary writers. Special attention is given to major writers such as Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, Shelby Foote and Robert Penn Warren, whom Bryant designates as "the supreme summary figure of the century," but the book also incorporates and draws connections between lesser-known writers or those whose one-time significance has since faded. Well organized with subchapters devoted to African American writers, women writers, playwrights, poets and critics, the book includes a good deal of background and biographical information. What the book offers in breadth of scope, however, it lacks in details such as quotations from the literature discussed or Bryant's own insights. Nonetheless, for the reader interested in a bird's-eye view of the major figures and trends in Southern literature, this work will be a welcome resource. (Nov.) FYI: Also due in October are Southern Writers with photos by David G. Spielman, text by William W. Starr (Univ. of S. Carolina $24.95 160p ISBN 1-57003-224-6; Oct.) and The Literature of the American South: Vol. II (Norton, $29.95 1060p ISBN 0-393-31671-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393101898
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Format: CD
  • Pages: 1188

Meet the Author

William L. Andrews (Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Editor, "The Literature of Slavery and Freedom," Co-Editor, "the Literature of the Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance." E. Maynard Adams Professor of English, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. General editor of the Wisconsin Studies in American Autobiography series and The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology, and co-editor of The Oxford Companion to African American Literature. Other works include The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt; To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of Afro-American Autobiography, 1760-1865; Sisters of the Spirit; Critical Essays on Frederick Douglass; and Classic Fiction of the Harlem Renaissance.

Minrose C. Gwin (Ph.D. University of Tennessee) is professor of English at the University of New Mexico. She is the author of The Feminine and Faulkner: Reading (Beyond) Sexual Difference and Black and White Women of the Old South: The Peculiar Sisterhood in American Literature.

Trudier Harris (Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is the author of five books, most recently The Power of the Porch: The Storyteller's Craft in Zora Neale Hurston, Gloria Naylor, and Randall Kenan, and a co-editor of The Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States and The Oxford Companion to African American Literature.

Fred Hobson (Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is Lineberger Professorinthe Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of numerous books, most recently Mencken: A Life and The Southern Writer in the Postmodern World, and a co-editor of Southern Literary Journal.

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