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|Genre/Form:||Criticism, interpretation, etc|
|Additional Physical Format:||Online version:
Traditions, voices, and dreams.
Newark, Del. : University of Delaware Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, c1995
|Material Type:||Government publication, State or province government publication|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
Melvin J Friedman; Ben Siegel
|Description:||335 p. ; 24 cm.|
|Contents:||Introduction : a brief overview of the recent American novel / Melvin J. Friedman --
Baroque Catholicism in southern fiction : Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and John Kennedy Toole / Michael Patrick Gillespie --
Voices interior and exterior : William Styron's narrative personae / James L.W. West III --
Simply not a mandarin : Saul Bellow as Jew and Jewish writer / Ben Siegel --
Jewish Jacobites : Henry James's presence in the fiction of Philip Roth and Cynthia Ozick / Mark Krupnick --
The metamorphosis of the classics : John Barth, Philip Roth, and the European tradition / Clayton Koelb --
Origins, language, and the constitution of reality : Norman Mailer's Ancient evenings / James M. Mellard --
Toward a new American mainstream : John Updike and Kurt Vonnegut / Jerome Klinkowitz --
Writing as witnessing : the many voices of E.L. Doctorow / Susan Brienza --
Panoramic, unpredictable, and human : Joyce Carol Oates' recent novels / Linda Wagner-Martin --
Women's life-writing and the minority voice : Maya Angelou, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Alice Walker / Suzette A. Henke --
Desperate hopes, desperate lives : depression and self-realization in Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John and Lucy / James Nagel --
Fundamentalist views and feminist dilemmas : Elizabeth Dewberry Vaughn's Many things have happened since he died and Break the heart of me / Gloria L. Cronin --
Dreams and nightmares : "high-tech paranoia" and the Jamesonian sublime, an approach to Thomas Pynchon's postmodernism / Elaine Safer --
Lingering hopes, faltering dreams : Marilynne Robinson and the politics of contemporary American fiction / Thomas Schaub.
|Responsibility:||edited by Melvin J. Friedman and Ben Siegel.|
Wishing to be as inclusive and varied as possible, editors Melvin J. Friedman and Ben Siegel invited fourteen outstanding critic/scholars of contemporary American fiction to place in literary and cultural perspective their novelists and themes of choice. The resulting volume's one true predecessor would be Joseph J. Waldmeir's Recent American Fiction: Some Critical Views (1963), in which this volume's two editors had essays, but even that notable compilation lacked the range of major, ethnic, or women writers and the variety of critical methods represented here.
Michael Gillespie, James West, Ben Siegel, Mark Krupnick, and Clayton Koelb, for example, discuss some of the ways American novelists have integrated into their fiction elements from the Southern, Jewish, and European cultural and literary traditions. Then James Mellard, Jerome Klinkowitz, Susan Brienza, Linda Wagner-Martin, and Suzette Henke analyze the differing "voices and languages" shaping the social and human "realities" depicted in the writings of some major American literary figures. Finally, James Nagel, Gloria Cronin, Elaine Safer, and Thomas Schaub confront the thematic "hopes, dreams, and desperation" central to a good deal of this country's fiction today. As the century draws to a close then, the allegedly vanishing American novel does not appear to lack creative or daringly experimental literary practitioners - as this volume abundantly shows.