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American Literature

American Literature Book List

Cover of 'Sight Unseen'

Sight Unseen
Beckett, Pinter, Stoppard, and Other Contemporary Dramatists on Radio
By Elissa S. Guralnick

In Sight Unseen radio drama, a genre traditionally dismissed as popular culture, is celebrated as high art. The radio plays discussed here range from the conventional (John Arden’s Pearl) to the docudramatic (David Rudkin’s Cries from Casement), from the curtly conversational (Harold Pinter’s A Slight Ache) to the virtually operatic (Robert Ferguson’s Transfigured Night), testifying to radio drama’s variety and literary stature.

Cover of 'Booking Pleasures'

Booking Pleasures
By Jack Matthews

“The covetous foraging for old and rare books,” is how Matthews defines “booking.” It is an act which leads naturally to the pleasures of adding them to one's personal library, then reading them as instruments of light and measure in a murky and chaotic world.

Cover of 'From the Uncollected Edmund Wilson'

From the Uncollected Edmund Wilson
By Edmund Wilson
· Edited by Janet Groth

Many of Wilson's writings have been anthologized. But there is another body of work — over fifty fine essays on aspects of contemporary literature and ideas — that have been scattered in a variety of magazines, including The New Yorker, The New Republic, Vanity Fair, and The Nation.

Winner of the NEMLA-Ohio University Press Book Award
Cover of 'Womanist and Feminist Aesthetics'

Womanist and Feminist Aesthetics
A Comparative Review
By Tuzyline Jita Allan

Alice Walker’s womanist theory about black feminist identity and practice also contains a critique of white liberal feminism. This is the first in-depth study to examine issues of identity and difference within feminism by drawing on Walker’s notion of an essential black feminist consciousness.

Cover of 'Swimming At Midnight'

Swimming At Midnight
Selected Shorter Poems
By John Matthias

Swimming at Midnight collects the short and middle-length poems from John Matthias’s earlier books together with twenty poems that have previously appeared only in magazines. It is published simultaneously with Beltane at Aphelion, which includes all of Matthias’s longer poems. The two books together represent some thirty years of his work.

Cover of 'Beltane at Aphelion'

Beltane at Aphelion
Longer Poems
By John Matthias

Beltane at Aphelion collects all of John Matthias's longer poems and is published simultaneously with Swimming at Midnight, which collects his shorter poems.

Cover of 'Sometimes I’m Happy'

Sometimes I’m Happy
A Writer’s Memoir
By Marshall Sprague

Marshall Spragues colorful lifetime spanned the century like a mountain rainbow. Somewhere between the time he learned the true function of the umbrella stand in the Midwest Victorian household of his youth and his first solo train ride to New York City, he surrendered to an innate talent and inquisitiveness that subsequently engaged tens of thousands of his friends and readers. He played the Tiger Rag with a Princeton band on transatlantic steamer crossings.

Cover of 'After the Grapes of Wrath'

After the Grapes of Wrath
Essays on John Steinbeck in Honor of Tetsumaro Hayashi
Edited by Donald V. Coers, Robert DeMott, and Paul D. Ruffin
· Introduction by Warren G. French

Traditionally, the critical reputation of Nobel Prize-winning American novelist John Steinbeck (1902-1968) has rested on his achievements of the 1930s, especially In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (19370, The Long Valley (1938), and, of course, The Grapes of Wrath (1939), one of the most powerful – and arguable on of the greatest – American novels of this century.

Cover of 'Stories of Raymond Carver'

Stories of Raymond Carver
A Critical Study
By Kirk Nesset

Raymond Carver, known in some circles as the “godfather of minimalism,” has been credited by many as the rejuvenator of the once-dying American short story. (See the link on this page to a 2008 Kenyon Review story that discusses the recent controversy over the editing of Carver’s stories.)

Cover of 'Small Bird, Tell Me'

Small Bird, Tell Me
Stories of Greek Immigrants
By Helen Papanikolas

Helen Papanikolas has been honored frequently for her work in ethnic and labor history. Among her many publications are Toil and Rage in a New Land: The Greek Immigrants in Utah, Peoples of Utah (ed.), and her parents' own story of migration, Emily-George. With Small Bird, Tell Me, she joins a long and ancient tradition of Greek story-tellers whose art informs and enriches our lives.

Cover of 'Claribel Alegría and Central American Literature'

Claribel Alegría and Central American Literature
Critical Essays
Edited by Sandra M. Boschetto-Sandoval and Marcia Phillips McGowan

These essays examine the multifaceted work of the Central American author whom Latin American literary historians consider precursor of “cultural dialogism” in poetry and fiction. As poet, essayist, journalist, novelist, and writer of “quasi–testimonio,” Alegría’s multiple discourses transgress the boundaries between traditional and postmodern political theories and practices.

Cover of 'Nietzsche and Emerson'

Nietzsche and Emerson
An Elective Affinity
By George J. Stack

George J. Stack traces the sources of ideas and theories that have long been considered the exclusive province of Friedrich Nietzsche to the surprisingly radical writings of the American essayist and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Nietzsche and Emerson makes us see Emerson's writings in a new, more intensified light and presents a new perspective on Nietzsche's philosophy.

Cover of 'Waste of Timelessness and Other Early Stories'

Waste of Timelessness and Other Early Stories
By Anaïs Nin

These stories precede all of Nin's published work to date. In them are many sources of the more mature work that collectors and growing writers can appreciate.

Cover of 'Zen, Poetry, the Art of Lucien Stryk'

Zen, Poetry, the Art of Lucien Stryk
By Susan Porterfield

Lucien Stryk has been a presence in American letters for almost fifty years. Those who know his poetry well will find this collection particularly gratifying. Like journeying again to places visited long ago, Stryk’s writing is both familiar and wonderfully fresh. For those just becoming acquainted with Stryk’s work, Zen, Poetry, the Art of Lucien Stryk makes an excellent introduction.

Cover of 'Higher Elevations'

Higher Elevations
Stories From The West: A Writers' Forum Anthology
Edited by Alexander Blackburn and C. Kenneth Pellow

Higher Elevations: Stories from the West is a rich and varied anthology of fiction from Writers' Forum. As the subtitle promises, it is regional, but these are not all stories from your grandfather's (or Hollywood's) West.