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A Companion to American Fiction 1780 - 1865. Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture
John Wiley and Sons Ltd, September 2004, Pages: 488
This Companion presents the current state of criticism in the field of American fiction from the earliest declarations of nationhood to secession and civil war.
- Draws heavily on historical and cultural contexts in its consideration of American fiction
- Relates the fiction of the period to conflicts about territory and sovereignty and to issues of gender, race, ethnicity and identity
- Covers different forms of fiction, including children’s literature, sketches, polemical pieces, historical romances, Gothic novels and novels of exploration
- Considers both canonical and lesser-known authors, including James Fennimore Cooper, Hannah Foster, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville and Harriet Beecher Stowe
- Treats neglected topics, such as the Western novel, science and the novel, and American fiction in languages other than English
List of Illustrations.
Notes on Contributors.
Introduction: Shirley Samuels (University of Connecticut).
Part I: Historical and Cultural Contexts.
1. National Narrative and the Problem of American Nationhood: Gerald Kennedy (Louisiana State University).
2. Fiction and Democracy: Paul Downes (University of Toronto).
3. Democratic Fictions: Sandra M. Gustafson (University of Notre Dame).
4. Engendering American Fictions: Martha J. Cutter (Kent State University) and Caroline F. Levander (Rice University).
5. Race and Ethnicity: Robert S. Levine (University of Maryland).
6. Class: Philip Gould (Brown University).
7. Sexualities: Valerie Rohy (University of Vermont).
8. Religion: Paul Gutjahr (Indiana University).
9. Education and Polemic: Stephanie Foote (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).
10. Marriage and Contract: Naomi Morgenstern (University of Toronto).
11. Transatlantic Ventures: Wil Verhoeven (University of Groningen) and Stephen Shapiro (University of Warwick).
12. Other Languages, Other Americas: Kirsten Silva Gruesz (University of California, Santa Cruz).
Part II: Forms of Fiction.
13. Literary Histories: Ed White (Louisiana State University) and Michael Drexler (Bucknell University).
14. Reading and Breeding: Chesterfieldian Civility in the Early Republic: Christopher Lukasik (Boston University).
15. The American Gothic: Marianne Noble (American University).
16. Sensational Fiction: Shelley Streeby (University of California, San Diego).
17. Melodrama and American Fiction: Lori Merish (Georgetown University).
18. Delicate Boundaries: Passing and Other “Crossings” in Fictionalized Slave Narratives: Cherene Sherrard-Johnson (University of Wisconsin-Madison).
19. Doctors, Bodies, and Fiction: Stephanie Browner (Berea College).
20. Law and the American Novel: Laura Korobkin (Boston University).
21. Labor and Fiction: Cindy Weinstein (Caltech).
22. Words for Children: Carol Singley (Rutgers University).
23. Dime Novels: Colin Ramsey (Appalachian State University) and Kathryn Zabelle Derounian-Stodola (University of Arkansas).
24. Reform and Antebellum Fiction: Chris Castiglia (Loyola University).
Part III: Authors, Locations, Purposes.
25. The Problem of the City: Heather Roberts (Clark University).
26. New Landscapes: Timothy Sweet (West Virginia University).
27. The Gothic Meets Sensation: Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allen Poe, George Lippard, and E.D.E.N. Southworth: Dana Luciano (Georgetown University).
28. Retold Legends: Washington Irving, James Kirke Paulding, John Pendleton Kennedy: Philip Barnard (University of Kansas).
29. Captivity and Freedom: Ann Eliza Bleecker, Harriet Prescott Spofford, and Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle”: Eric Gary Anderson (George Mason University).
30. New England Tales: Catharine Sedgwick, Catherine Brown, and the Dislocations of Indian Land: Bethany Schneider (Bryn Mawr College).
31. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Caroline Lee Hentz, Herman Melville, and American Racialist Exceptionalism: Katherine Adams (University of Tulsa).
32. Fictions of the South: Southern Portraits of Slavery: Nancy Buffington (University of Delaware).
33. The West: Edward Watts (Michigan State University).
34. The Old Southwest: Mike Fink, Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, Johnson Jones Hooper, and George Washington Harris: David Rachels (Virginia Military Institute).
35. James Fenimore Cooper and the Invention of the American Novel: Wayne Franklin (University of Connecticut).
36. The Sea: Herman Melville and Moby Dick: Stephanie A. Smith (University of Florida).
37. National Narrative and National History: Russ Castronovo (University of Wisconsin-Madison).
"Particularly impressive... Taken together the essays constitute a dense realization of a critically resurgent period, with the historical dimension emphatic throughout.". American Literary Scholarship .
"A good resource for those just embarking on the study of American literature. Recommended.". Choice