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American Literature

American Literature Book List

Cover of 'The  Selected Poems of Janet Lewis'

The Selected Poems of Janet Lewis
By Janet Lewis
· Edited by R. L. Barth

Since the appearance in print of her early poems over seventy-five years ago, the poetry of Janet Lewis has grown in quiet acclaim and popularity. Although she is better known as a novelist of historical fiction, her first and last writings were poems. With the publication of her selected poems, Swallow Press celebrates the distinguished career of one of its most cherished authors.

Cover of 'Set the Ploughshare Deep'

Set the Ploughshare Deep
A Prairie Memoir
By Timothy Murphy

Fifteen years in the making, Set the Ploughshare Deep is a memoir in prose, verse, and woodcuts. It depicts the consequences of Warren's advice for a writer who turned his back on cities and the academic world, who bought and sold, farmed and failed like his forebears, all the while distilling what he saw, heard, or felt into his tall tales and short verses. Timothy Murphy has harvested pheasants and ducks as well as wheat and apples.

Cover of 'Transcendental Wordplay'

Transcendental Wordplay
America’s Romantic Punsters and the Search for the Language of Nature
By Michael West

Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, America was captivated by a muddled notion of “etymology.” New England Transcendentalism was only one outcropping of a nationwide movement in which schoolmasters across small-town America taught students the roots of words in ways that dramatized religious issues and sparked wordplay. Shaped by this ferment, our major romantic authors shared the sensibility that Friedrich Schlegel linked to punning and christened “romantic irony.”

Cover of 'Broken English'

Broken English
An Ohio Amish Mystery
By P. L. Gaus

The peaceful town of Millersburg, Ohio, in the heart of Ohio’s Amish country, is rocked by the vicious murder of one of its citizens.

Cover of 'Pebbles, Monochromes and Other Modern Poems, 1891–1916'

Pebbles, Monochromes and Other Modern Poems, 1891–1916
By W. D. Howells
· Edited by Edwin Cady

Metaphysical, agnostic, and ironic with a modernist voice.

Cover of 'Pages'

Pages
New Poems and Cuttings
By John Matthias

A unique voice among contemporary American poets, John Matthias has compiled here a major new collection, his first volume of poetry since the publication in 1995 of his retrospective collections of shorter and longer poems. Divided into three sections, Pages begins with thirty short poems that range in subject from Ovid and Akhmatova to remembered friends and family.

Cover of 'Value and Vision in American Literature'

Value and Vision in American Literature
Essays in Honor of Ray Lewis White
Edited by Joseph Candido

The widely divergent voices in this collection are united by their common interest in the American literary heritage and by their intention to redefine that heritage by altering our angle of vision or forcing us to re-examine some traditional values.

Cover of 'Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio'

Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio
With Variant Readings and Annotations
By Sherwood Anderson
· Edited by Ray Lewis White

In 1919 a middle-aged Chicago advertising writer from Ohio, a failure as a businessman, husband, and father, published a small yellow book of short stories intended to “reform” American literature. Against all expectations, Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small Town Life achieved what its author intended: after 1919 and after Winesburg, Ohio, American literature would be written and read freshly and differently.

Cover of 'The  Time of the Little Black Bird'

The Time of the Little Black Bird
By Helen Papanikolas

In 1906 a young, semiliterate Greek arrived in America with a fewdollars in his pocket and his people's legacy of proverbs, superstitions, and cultural traits to guide him through the dangers and opportunities of a new world. The Time of the Little Black Bird begins with the story of this young man and his plan to build a future for his family as it makes its way in America.

Cover of 'Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors'

Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors
The Poetics of the Public and the Personal
By William Doreski

In the two decades that have passed since Robert Lowell’s death, Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors is the first critical survey of the poet's aesthetic efforts to make personal vision and public exhortation cohere and thus combine poetic genres that have been historically discrete.

Cover of 'Mountain Dialogues'

Mountain Dialogues
By Frank Waters
· Foreword by Thomas J. Lyon

“Mysticism is peculiar to the mountainbred,” Frank Waters once told an interviewer for Psychology Today. And in Mountain Dialogues, available for the first time in paperback, the mountainbred Waters proves it true. Ranging over such diverse subjects as silence, spirits, time, change, and the sacred mountains of the world, Waters sounds again and again the radiant, mystic theme of man’s inherent wholeness and his oneness with the cosmos.

Cover of 'Blood of the Prodigal'

Blood of the Prodigal
An Ohio Amish Mystery
By P. L. Gaus

Faced with an apparent abduction, the bishop of an Old Order Amish community reluctantly turns for help to an outsider in the deceptively tranquil countryside of Ohio’s Holmes County.

Cover of 'Voices from the Silence'

Voices from the Silence
Guatemalan Literature of Resistance
Edited by Marc Zimmerman and Raúl Rojas

The conquest, colonization, independence, the liberal reforms, the regimes, revolution, and dictatorships, the insurrections and ongoing peace dialogues all are combined in a narrative projecting the most important forces in Guatemalan history from the Mayan period to our own times.

Cover of 'Word Play Place'

Word Play Place
Essays on the Poetry of John Matthias
Edited by Robert Archambeau

The poetry of John Matthias has long been admired by other poets for the way it refuses to be categorized. Lyrical and experimental, cosmopolitan and rooted in place, it challenges our received notions of what poetry can be at the end of the twentieth century. This volume introduces the work of this significant American poet to readers previously unfamiliar with it and enriches the reading of those who have long admired it.

Cover of 'Deprived of Unhappiness'

Deprived of Unhappiness
By Sam Pickering

In this, his tenth book of essays, renowned raconteur Sam Pickering wanders from Nova Scotia to Tennessee, from a middle school athletic field to an English department. He tells stories about people named Googoo and Loppie. He examines trees and flowers. He watches a daughter play soccer and a son row. He attends funerals and remembers the past and imagines the future. His is the ordinary world observed closely. But reading Pickering makes life blossom.