A Companion to the American Short Story
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A Companion to the American Short Story

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A Companion to the American Short Story traces the development of this versatile literary genre over the past 200 years. * Sets the short story in context, paying attention to the interaction of cultural forces and aesthetic principles * Contributes to the ongoing redefinition of the American canon, with close attention to the achievements of women writers as well as such important genres as the ghost story and detective fiction * Embraces diverse traditions including African-American, Jewish-American, Latino, Native-American, and regional short story writing * Includes a section focused on specific authors and texts, from Edgar Allen Poe to John Updike
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Product details

  • Hardback | 534 pages
  • 181 x 248 x 32mm | 1,028g
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1405115432
  • 9781405115438
  • 2,061,339

Back cover copy

A Companion to the American Short Story traces the development of this versatile literary genre over the past two centuries. Written by leading critics in the field, and edited by two major scholars, it explores a wide range of writers, from Edgar Allen Poe and Edith Wharton, Kate Chopin, and Charles Chesnutt at the end of the nineteenth century. In the twentieth the focus is on such important Modern writers as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Richard Wright before moving into the contemporary period with essays on Raymond Carver, Saul Bellow, and Denise Chávez. Contributions with a broader focus address groups of multiethnic, Asian, and Jewish writers. All the essays set the short story in context, focusing on the interaction of cultural forces and aesthetic principles.

The Companion takes account of cutting edge approaches to literary studies and contributes to the ongoing redefinition of the American canon, embracing genres such as ghost and detective fiction, cycles of interrelated short fiction, and comic, social and political stories. The volume also reflects the diverse communities that have adopted this literary form and made it their own, featuring entries on a variety of feminist and multicultural traditions. This volume presents an important new consideration of the role of the short story in the literary history of American literature.
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Table of contents

Notes on Contributors viii Acknowledgments xiv Part I: The Nineteenth Century 1 1 The Emergence and Development of the American Short Story 3 Alfred Bendixen 2 Poe and the American Short Story 20 Benjamin F. Fisher 3 A Guide to Melville s Bartleby, the Scrivener 35 Steven T. Ryan 4 Towards History and Beyond: Hawthorne and the American Short Story 50 Alfred Bendixen 5 Charles W. Chesnutt and the Fictions of a New America 68 Charles Duncan 6 Mark Twain and the American Comic Short Story 78 David E. E. Sloane 7 New England Local-Color Literature: A Colonial Formation 91 Josephine Donovan 8 Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Feminist Tradition of the American Short Story 105 Martha J. Cutter 9 The Short Stories of Edith Wharton 118 Donna Campbell Part II: The Transition into the New Century 133 10 The Short Stories of Stephen Crane 135 Paul Sorrentino 11 Kate Chopin 152 Charlotte Rich 12 Frank Norris and Jack London 171 Jeanne Campbell Reesman 13 From Water Drops to General Strikes: Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Short Fiction and Social Change 187 Andrew J. Furer Part III: The Twentieth Century 215 14 The Twentieth Century: A Period of Innovation and Continuity 217 James Nagel 15 The Hemingway Story 224 George Monteiro 16 William Faulkner s Short Stories 244 Hugh Ruppersburg 17 Katherine Anne Porter 256 Ruth M. Alvarez 18 Eudora Welty and the Short Story: Theory and Practice 277 Ruth D. Weston 19 The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald: Structure, Narrative Technique, Style 295 Kirk Curnutt 20 The Look of the World : Richard Wright on Perspective 316 Mikko Tuhkanen 21 Small Planets: The Short Fiction of Saul Bellow 328 Gloria L. Cronin 22 John Updike 345 Robert M. Luscher 23 Raymond Carver in the Twenty-First Century 366 Sandra Lee Kleppe 24 Multi-Ethnic Female Identity and Denise Chavez s The Last of the Menu Girls 380 Karen Weekes Part IV: Expansive Considerations 389 25 Landscape as Haven in American Women s Short Stories 391 Leah B. Glasser 26 The American Ghost Story 408 Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock 27 The Detective Story 425 Catherine Ross Nickerson 28 The Asian American Short Story 436 Wenying Xu 29 The Jewish American Story 450 Andrew Furman 30 The Multiethnic American Short Story 466 Molly Crumpton Winter 31 Should I Stay or Should I Go? American Restlessness and the Short-Story Cycle 482 Jeff Birkenstein Index 502
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Review Text

"This accessible and attractive volume is split into four sections offering a history of the American short story. The first three are presented chronologically, with chapters on stories from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and a transitional period in between . . . For all readers, it is what such a Companion should be-a ladder that the newly enthused short-story reader will climb, only to move onto higher ground." (Routledge ABES, 2011)
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Review quote

"This accessible and attractive volume is split into four sections offering a history of the American short story. The first three are presented chronologically, with chapters on stories from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and a transitional period in between ... For all readers, it is what such a Companion should be-a ladder that the newly enthused short-story reader will climb, only to move onto higher ground." (Routledge ABES, 2011)
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About Alfred Bendixen

Alfred Bendixen, Professor of English at Texas A& M University, is the founder of the American Literature Association, which he currently serves as Executive Director. His books include Haunted Women (1985), an edition of the composite novel, The Whole Family (1986), "The Amber Gods" and other stories by Harriet Prescott Spofford, (1989), and Edith Wharton: New Critical Essays (1992). He is the associate editor of the Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature (1999), the co-editor of the recently published Cambridge Companion to American Travel Writing (2009), and one of the five contributing editors to the forthcoming Wadsworth Anthology of American Literature. James Nagel is the Eidson Distinguished Professor of American Literature at the University of Georgia. Early in his career he founded the scholarly journal Studies in American Fiction and the widely influential series Critical Essays on American Literature. Among his twenty books are Stephen Crane and Literary Impressionism, Hemingway in Love and War (which was made into a Hollywood film directed by Lord Richard Attenborough), and The Contemporary American Short-Story Cycle. He has published some eighty articles in the field, and he has lectured on American literature in fifteen countries. In 2005, he was given the lifetime achievement award for contributions to the field by the American Literature Association.
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