This unique reference volume lists chronologically the major literary works published in America since colonial days. Modeled on its successful English counterpart, Annals of English Literature 1475-1950, the American Annals presents the main literary output of each year from 1602 to 1983, highlighting the more popular books and the literary rivalry among authors within each period.
Though the first book published in America--the Bay Psalm Book--did not appear until 1640, the Annals begins in 1602 with European-published books of American origin, including the log books of early explorers, sermons and pamphlets by emigrant religious leaders, and the papers of colonial political figures. Concentrating on fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry, Richard M. Ludwig and Clifford A. Nault, Jr. provide a wealth of information about American literary history. The volume includes listings of all the well-known titles and a selection of lesser-known ones by each major author and the most influential publications of minor authors. The listings provide the author's name and birth date, the full title of the work, and the genre to which it belongs.
Offering a literary and historical context for the works, the Annals also contains parallel listings of important events in U.S. and world history, the deaths of American and foreign-born authors, the founding of newspapers, and the publication of foreign works--such as Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, Bertolt Brecht's The Three-penny Opera, and Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage--which influenced American literature or signaled the start of world literary trends. It also offers an alphabetical index of authors and their works. This fascinating as well as instructive compilation serves as an essential resource for anyone interested in American literary or cultural history.show more