This work is an abridgement of Thomson Gale's Major 21st Century Writers (released as an ebook in 2004); both are the offspring of Contemporary Authors, a staple of larger reference collections, whether in print or online. Like its parent, the new set provides brief access to biographical information about authors and bibliographical data on their work. Of the more than 120,000 20th- and 21st-century writers covered in the mother set, the new set covers 700 of the most influential and studied writers published in English at the turn of the 21st century and includes fiction and nonfiction authors, dramatists, poets, and writers for children and young adults. In consultation with an advisory board of writers, teachers, and librarians, the editors selected authors who have won major awards, produced best sellers, or are used in high school and college curricula. As in Contemporary Authors, a typical entry contains dates of birth and death; family, education, and career data; lists of memberships and awards; and a home and an office address. A "Writings" section lists the author's work with imprint information. A generous biographical sketch focusing on the author's career, critical reception, interests, and motivations appears under the heading "Sidelights." A brief bibliography of books, articles, and reviews about the author and a list of adaptations of the author's work in other media round out the entries. The final volume contains two indexes, one by nationality or ethnicity, and one by subject and genre. Bottom Line Like Major 21st Century Writers, this work is bound to come in handy for students and those working with them. Recommended for smaller libraries that cannot afford the full Contemporary Authors set or database. Paul D'Alessandro, Portland P.L., ME Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Gr 9 Up
Most of the content here comes from Gale's "Contemporary Authors" series. The set's organization, clarity, and information are commendable and make it easy to glean data on and critical assessments of unfamiliar writers. However, any book that lists Truman Capote, Alan Paton, and Katherine Anne Porter (all of whom died in the 1980s) as 21st-century writers begs the question: What about Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway? And then there are the glaring absences: playwright John Guare and poets Frank Bidart and Jane Kenyon are all missing from this compendium of the incongruous. Despite these oddly chimerical standards, this collection of approximately 700 alphabetically arranged entries covers writers of all genres, styles, and levels of literary qualification. Each entry is organized into a one- to three-page list of personal data, awards and honors, annotated list of works published, adaptations, and biographical information, and concludes with a (sometimes lengthy) bibliography of biographical and critical sources. Applying the genre and nationality indexes, this set could also serve as a reader's advisory tool. If you are looking for a print reference set on contemporary authors, this is an acceptable choice, but Gale's Literary Resource Center or EBSCO's Literary Reference Center will do the same job.
Herman SutterCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.