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See below for a selection of the latest books from Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers category. Presented with a red border are the Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
The ever-growing body of criticism on Willa Cather and her fiction is indicative of her enduring position as a pre-eminent figure of twentieth-century American literature. It has been spurred by the challenge of situating Cather in relation to established critical approaches. Since the 1920s, Cather's work has been praised by critics for its realism, innovative form, and diversity; simultaneously, it has been derided as nostalgic, anti-modern, and narrow. Drawing on monographs, edited collections, journal articles, and society publications, Willa Cather: The Critical Conversation provides Cather scholars and students at the graduate and undergraduate levels with an accessible overview of Cather's critical reception through the first two decades of the twenty-first century. In addition to providing a valuable resource for research and teaching on Cather, the book also speaks to broader issues such as canon formation and historical trends in literary criticism that are relevant to American literature and culture as a whole. This book provides a solid understanding of the major issues in Cather criticism over time, with an eye toward how the conversation may continue for decades to come. Kelsey Squire is Assistant Professor of English at Ohio Dominican University.
The Long 1980s could be summed up handily in the annals of U.S. cultural history with the enduring markers of Ronald Reagan's presidency, Oliver Stone's film Wall Street, and Dire Straits's hit single Money for Nothing. Despite their vast differences, each serves to underscore the confidence, jingoism, and optimism that powered the U.S. economy throughout the decade. Mining a wide range of literature, film, and financial print journalism, Scandals and Abstraction chronicles how American society's increasing concern with finance found expression in a large array of cultural materials that ultimately became synonymous with postmodernism. The ever-present credit cards, monetary transactions, and ATMs in Don De Lillo's White Noise open this study as they serve as touchstones for its protagonist's sense of white masculinity and ground the novel's narrative form. Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities and Oliver Stone's Wall Street animate a subsequent chapter, as each is considered in light of the 1987 stock market crash and held up as a harbinger of a radical new realism that claimed a narrative monopoly on representing an emergent financial era. These works give way to the pornographic excess and violence of Bret Easton Ellis's epochal American Psycho, which is read alongside the popular 1980s genre of the financial autobiography. With a series of trenchant readings, La Berge argues that Ellis's novel can be best understood when examined alongside Ivan Boesky's Merger Mania, Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal, and T. Boone Pickens's Boone. A look at Jane Smiley's Good Faith and its plot surrounding the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, concludes the study, and considers how financial reportage became a template for much of our current writing about of finance. Drawing on a diverse archive of novels, films, autobiographies, and journalism, Scandals and Abstraction provides a timely study of the economy's influence on fiction, and outlines a feedback loop whereby postmodernism became more canonical, realism became more postmodern, and finance became a distinct cultural object.
Modernism, Internationalism and the Russian Revolution examines responses to the Russian Revolution and the formation of League of Nations in literature and journalism in the years following 1917. We see how visitors to Moscow responded to meeting Lenin, how the Bolsheviks intervened in the British public sphere, and how cultural figures such as Leonard Woolf, H.G. Wells and T.S. Eliot, debated the League and the Revolution. The book reveals the extent and complexity of the debate about revolution and nationalities which was a dominant feature of public discourse. Drawing on responses of journalists and literary authors, it allows insights into the relationship between modernist literature and the major geopolitical shifts which governed the period and demonstrates how a new age of transnational politics began.
Compelling analyses of the function and representation of Nature in a wide range of Cold War fiction and poetry by authors including Paul Bowles, J. D. Salinger, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Mary McCarthy reveals the prevalence of portrayals of Nature as an infinite, interdependent system in American literature written between 1945 and 1971. Daw astutely highlights the Cold War's often overlooked role in environmental history and argues that Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962) can be considered as part of a trend of increasingly ecological depictions of Nature in literature written after 1945. By exploring the most recent developments in the field of ecocriticism, the book is embedded within current ecocritical debates concerning the Anthropocene and anthropogenic climate change.
Originally published in 1995, The Music of African American Fiction is a historical analysis of the tradition of representing music in African American fiction. The book examines the impact of evolving musical styles and innovative musicians on black culture as is manifested in the literature. The analysis begins with the slave narratives and the emergence of the first black fiction of the antebellum years and moves through the Reconstruction. This is followed by analyses of definitive fictional representations of African American music from the turn-of-the-century through Harlem Renaissance, the Depression and World War II eras through the 1960s and the Black Arts Movement. The representation of black music shapes a lineage that extends from the initial chronicles written in response to sub-human bondage to the declarations of an autonomous black aesthetic and dramatically influences the evolution of an African American literary tradition.
Where the New World Is assesses how fiction published since 1980 has resituated the U.S. South globally and how earlier twentieth-century writing already had done so in ways traditional southern literary studies tended to ignore. Martyn Bone argues that this body of fiction has, over the course of some eighty years, challenged received readings and understandings of the U.S. South as a fixed place largely untouched by immigration (or even internal migration) and economic globalization. The writers discussed by Bone emphasize how migration and labor have reconfigured the region's relation to the nation and a range of transnational scales: hemispheric (Jamaica, the Bahamas, Haiti), transatlantic/Black Atlantic (Denmark, England, Mauritania), and transpacific/global southern (Australia, China, Vietnam). Writers under consideration include Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, John Oliver Killens, Russell Banks, Erna Brodber, Cynthia Shearer, Ha Jin, Monique Truong, Lan Cao, Toni Morrison, Peter Matthiessen, Dave Eggers, and Laila Lalami. The book also seeks to resituate southern studies by drawing on theories of scale that originated in human geography. In this way, Bone also offers a new paradigm in which the U.S. South is thoroughly engaged with a range of other scales from the local to the global, making both literature about the region and southern studies itself truly transnational in scope.
In this convincing and provocative study, Rebecca Suter aims to complicate our understanding of world literature by examining the creative and critical deployment of cultural stereotypes in the early novels of Kazuo Ishiguro. World literature has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years: Aamir Mufti called it the result of one-world thinking, the legacy of an imperial system of cultural mapping from a unified perspective. Suter views Ishiguro's fiction as an important alternative to this paradigm. Born in Japan, raised in the United Kingdom, and translated into a broad range of languages, Ishiguro has throughout his career consciously used his multiple cultural positioning to produce texts that look at broad human concerns in a significantly different way. Through a close reading of his early narrative strategies, Suter explains how Ishiguro was been able to create a two-world literature that addresses universal human concerns and avoids the pitfalls of the single, Western-centric perspective of one-world vision. Setting his first two novels, A Pale View of Hills (1982) and An Artist of the Floating World (1986), in a Japan explicitly used as a metaphor enabled Ishiguro to parody and subvert Western stereotypes about Japan, and by extension challenge the universality of Western values. This subversion was amplified in the third novel, The Remains of the Day (1989), which is perfectly legible through both English and Japanese cultural paradigms. Building on this subversion of stereotypes, Ishiguro's early work investigates the complex relationship between social conditioning and agency, showing how characters' behavior is related to their cultural heritage but cannot be reduced to it. This approach lies at the core of the author's compelling portrayal of human experience in more recent works, such as Never Let Me Go (2005) and The Buried Giant (2015), which earned Ishiguro a global audience and a Nobel Prize. Deprived of the easy explanations of one-world thinking, readers of Ishiguro's two-world literature are forced to appreciate the complexity of the interrelation of individual and collective identity, personal and historical memory, and influence and agency to gain a more nuanced, two-world appreciation of human experience.
Using the nine novels of Christoph Martin Wieland (1733-1813) as case studies, Shookman explores the notion of fictionality both as a distinctive feature of the stories themselves and as a distinguishing characteristic of the fanciful notions, moral laws, political utopias, religious beliefs, and artistic concepts that they describe. The novels show readers why they should take fictions seriously, yet not literally--or how to suspend disbelief without suspending judgment. Shookman uses the concepts of imagination, ideals, and illusion to investigate how Wieland's novels define fiction, know its referents, and accept its truths. He places Wieland's use of fictionality in the evolution of the German novel, while also using his work to comment on academic and real world implications of fictionality.
Originally published in 1999 The Foremother Figure in Early Black Women's Literature looks at how stereotypical foremother figure exists in nineteenth century American literature. The book argues that older black woman portrayed in early black women's works differs significantly from the older black women portrayed in early white women's works. The foremother figure, then emerging in early black women's fiction revises the stereotypical mother figure in early white women's fiction. In the context of the mulatta heroine the foremother produces minimal language that, through an Afrocentric rhetoric, distinguishes her from the stereotypical mother and thus links her peripheral role and unusual behaviour to cultural continuity and radical uplift.
Flannery O'Connor is unique in that she is not only familiar with seventeenth-century emblematic representations of scriptural truth, but she is also knowledgeable of the conventions of twentieth-century art forms. Her characters are illuminated by textual images formulated from the juxtaposition of scripture, seventeenth- and twentieth-century archetypes, and street detritus that inhabits pictorial sequences exceeding the boundaries of time and diachronically upending O'Connor's narrative world. O'Connor's undergraduate single panel cartoons are an excellent starting point when tracing the chronological development of her stylized graphic narrative. The sardonic captions are illustrated by characters who are compositions of deeply gouged lines and dots. In her first novel, Wise Blood, some of the cartoonish grotesques remain, but the conventions of painting prevail in the novel. Her characters are momentarily frozen in still life tableaux vivants or in montages, resulting in jarring juxtapositions. In The Violent Bear it Away, O'Connor recreates snapshot moments, not unlike those inexpertly captured by the twentieth-century amateur photographer with a Brownie box camera. Every photograph taken at this time was accompanied by its negative. Reading the inverted negative and positive space, in the novel, reveals a palimpsestic Divine world coexisting alongside the world as we know it. The idea of tattooing graphic text on the human body first occurs in the manuscript of Why do the Heathen Rage? and then in O'Connor's last story, Parker's Back. Flannery O'Connor's graphic narrative, a sign language of dots and lines, discarded objects, and the mutilation of human bodies, provides a stark illuminated manuscript for her readers.