Star Authors

Star Authors : Literary Celebrity in America

4.25 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
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In America, authors are as likely to be seen on television talk shows or magazine covers as in the more traditional settings of literary festivals or book signings. Is this literary celebrity just another result of `dumbing down'? Yet another example of the mass media turning everything into entertainment? Or is it a much more unstable, complex phenomenon? And what does the American experience tell us about the future of British literary celebrity?

In Star Authors, Joe Moran shows how publishers, the media and authors themselves create and disseminate literary celebrity. He looks at such famous contemporary authors as Toni Morrison, J.D. Salinger, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, John Updike, Philip Roth, Kathy Acker, Nicholson Baker, Paul Auster and Jay McInerney. Through an examination of their own work, biographical information, media representations and promotional material, Moran illustrates the nature of modern literary celebrity. He argues that authors actively negotiate their own celebrity rather than simply having it imposed upon them - from reclusive authors such as Salinger and Pynchon, famed for their very lack of public engagement, to media-friendly authors such as Updike and McInerney.

Star Authors analyses literary celebrity in the context of the historical links between literature, advertising and publicity in America; the economics of literary production; and the cultural capital involved in the marketing and consumption of books and authors.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 13.97mm | 272.16g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745315194
  • 9780745315195
  • 1,634,670

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Table of contents

1. Introduction: The Charismatic Illusion

Part One: Cultural Contexts

2. Mark Twain Absurdity: Literature and Publicity in America

3. The Reign of Hype: The Contemporary Star System

4. Disembodied Images: Authors, Authorship and Celebrity

Part Two: Star Authors

5. The Scribe of Suburbia: John Updike

6. Reality Shift: Philip Roth

7. Silence, Exile, Cunning and So On: Don DeLillo

8. A Star of Bohemia: Kathy Acker

9. Conclusion: A `Meet the Author' Culture
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Review quote

"Joe Moran's book is a long overdue study of the way that cultures of celebrity and authorship interact to sell books in the United States. His subjects are not best-selling authors, but the so-called literary ones - that is the serious authors who win prizes and are taught in universities ( but who also happen to sell a lot of books). His aim is to" challenge the way the emergence of literary celebrity is most commonly explained - in terms of the vulgarisation of literary life by commercial mass media in America...." Star Authors" provides a much needed framework in which to study recent American fiction." Times Literary Supplement
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About Joe Moran

Joe Moran is Lecturer in English and American Studies at Liverpool John Moores University.
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Rating details

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