Birth of Death and Other Comedies

Birth of Death and Other Comedies : The Novels of Russell H. Greenan

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Russell H. Greenan's "It Happened in Boston?" is one of the most radical narratives to appear in the late 1960s ("this is a book that encompasses everything" as David L. Ulin noted in "Bookforum"). Yet due in large part to the difficulty of classifying Greenan's fiction, many readers are unaware of his other novels. In "The Birth of Death and Other Comedies: The Novels of Russell H. Greenan," Tom Whalen, drawing widely from the American literary tradition, locates Greenan's lineage in the work of Hawthorne and Poe "where allegory and dream mingle with and illuminate realism," as well as in the fiction of Twain, West, Hammett, Cain, and Thompson. Examining Greenan's characteristic themes and strategies, Whalen provides perceptive readings of the dark comedies of this criminally neglected American master, and in a coda reflects on Greenan's career and the reception of his work.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 182 pages
  • 140 x 213 x 18mm | 249g
  • Normal, IL, United States
  • English
  • 1564786404
  • 9781564786401

About Tom Whalen

Tom Whalen is a novelist, short story writer, poet, and critic who has written for AGNI, Bookforum, Film Quarterly, The Iowa Review, The Quarterly, the Washington Post and other publications. Co-editor of the Robert Walser Number of The Review of Contemporary Fiction, he has translated and written extensively on Walser's work. He teaches film at the State Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart, Germany, and American Studies at the universities of Freiburg and Bamberg.
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