The Fiction of Ellen Gilchrist: An Appreciation

The Fiction of Ellen Gilchrist: An Appreciation

by Brad Hooper
     
 

Winner of the National Book Award for her short story collection Victory Over Japan, Ellen Gilchrist has entertained audiences with her vivid fictional portraits of strong women, eccentric lives, and the difficulties of love and life. Known both for her short fiction and her novels, Gilchrist has been awarded several honors throughout her career, and her

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Overview

Winner of the National Book Award for her short story collection Victory Over Japan, Ellen Gilchrist has entertained audiences with her vivid fictional portraits of strong women, eccentric lives, and the difficulties of love and life. Known both for her short fiction and her novels, Gilchrist has been awarded several honors throughout her career, and her work continues to receive both critical and popular acclaim. This book examines her fiction, book by book, and offers an appreciation of her craft through a careful analysis of the stories themselves, their critical reception, and their lasting effect on the reader. Hooper offers the first complete evaluation of Gilchrist's entire fiction oeuvre.

Author of such works as In the Land of Dreamy Dreams, The Annunciation , Go Hunting with My Daddy, and several other novels and collections of short stories, Ellen Gilchrist has transcended the bounds of Southern writing, appealing to audiences in all corners of the nation. Here, Hooper celebrates her fiction, focusing on the strong, feisty female characters that populate her works, exerting their will and independence regardless of traditional restraints on their activities. In addition, he pays special attention to her strengths and weaknesses as both a short fiction writer and a novelist, arguing that while her novels may entertain, her lasting contribution to American letters can more easily be found in her short fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Paying special attention to characters who evolve throughout Gilchrist's corpus, Hooper suggests that her greatest achievements are the Rhoda Manning childhood tales and the Nora Jane Whittington stories. He also praises the marvelous narratives of the African American maid Traceleen, who forms a dynamic duo with her employer Crystal Manning….Lower-/upper-division undergraduates; general readers." - Choice

"Hooper, adult books editor for Booklist Magazine, examines each of Gilchrist's works of fiction and offers an appreciation of her craft through an analysis of her stories, their critical reception and their lasting effect on the reader. He focuses on Gilchrist's feisty female characters and dissects her strengths and weaknesses as a short fiction writer and a novelist, concluding that Gilchrist's strengths lie primarily in her short stories." - Reference & Research Book News

"Public library readers' advisors will know exactly what Brad is up to here. His discussions of Gilchrist's themes, style, and tone effectively bridge the gap between literary analysis and booktalking." - Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275985936
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/30/2005
Pages:
178
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.44(d)

Meet the Author

Brad Hooper is Adult Books Editor for Booklist Magazine. He has published several short stories, essays, and reviews in various pubications, and he is the author of The Short Story Readers' Advisory: A Guide to the Best.

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