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American Literature

American Literature Book List

Cover of '5 Plays 5'

5 Plays 5
Lovecraft's Follies, The Ushers, Mother O, Shadows of Memory, The Last Romantics
By James Schevill

In 1970 Adrian Hall’s production of Lovecraft’s Follies by the Trinity Repertory Company was praised in The New York Times as a “hilarious extravaganza—with music—that is also an earnest attempt to come to grips with the guilts and terrors of the Age of Technology.” The sucess of this production heralded James Schevill’s arrival as an important American playwright dedicated to a new kind of theatre that he calls in the introduction to this book, “Poetic Realism.”

Cover of 'Frank Waters'

Frank Waters
Man and Mystic
Edited by Vine Deloria Jr.

“In addition to his accomplishments as a talented novelist, a thorough historian, and an excellent essayist, Frank Waters is that rare breed of man who has merged heart and mind early in his life and moved forward to confront ultimate questions. This dilemma of faith and heritage, religion and identity, and commitment and comfort has never been resolved intellectually.

Cover of 'New and Selected Poems'

New and Selected Poems
By James Schevill

From a poetic career that spans more than half a century and that is still producing poems as fresh and honest as the first, comes James Schevill's New and Selected Poems, redefining the achievement of this uniquely American vision. Schevill's poetry, acclaimed and criticized, has been rigorously selected here by the poet himself down to the best and most representative of his significant output.

Cover of 'Selected Short Stories of William Dean Howells'

Selected Short Stories of William Dean Howells
By W. D. Howells
· Edited by Ruth Bardon

Full texts of thirteen of Howells’s short stories, each preceded by a thorough critical analysis.

Cover of 'A Realist in the American Theatre'

A Realist in the American Theatre
Selected Drama Criticism of William Dean Howells
Edited by Brenda Murphy

William Dean Howells has long been recognized as the chief spokesman for post-1880s American Realism. Most of his writing appeared in popular magazines, however, and has been lost to us. This collection brings together for the first time his most significant essays about American drama written between 1875 and 1919 and a full bibliography of his writings on drama and theatre.

Cover of 'Sea of Grass'

Sea of Grass
By Conrad Richter

Richter’s novels and stories are filled with the fire of poetic prose and the drama of real lives. This is a reissue of the 1937 tale of cattle ranching on the high-grass plains of New Mexico at a time when a single man could control, if he were fierce enough, a ranch as big as some eastern seaboard states, but perhaps not hold the woman he loves as fiercely as the land.

Cover of 'Rare Book Lore'

Rare Book Lore
Selections from the Letters of Ernest J. Wessen
By Ernest J. Wessen
· Edited by Jack Matthews

Ernest J. Wessen was one of the legendary rare bookmen of the mid-twentieth century, and his letters, like his famous catalogs, Midland Notes, are a treasure of Americana.

Cover of 'Sunrise Brighter Still'

Sunrise Brighter Still
The Visionary Novels of Frank Waters
By Alexander Blackburn
· Foreword by Charles L. Adams

Novelist and critic Alexander Blackburn credits Waters’s novels such as The Man Who Killed the Deer, Pike’s Peak, People of the Valley, and The Woman at Otowi Crossing with creating a worldview that transcends modern materialism and rationalism. Central to Waters’s vision, he suggests, is the individual in whom are concentrated the creative powers of the universe.

Cover of 'The  Fields'

The  Fields
By Conrad Richter

Conrad Richter's trilogy of novels The Trees (1940), The Fields (1946), and The Town, (1950) traces the transformation of Ohio from wilderness to farmland to the site of modern industrial civilization, all in the lifetime of one character. The trilogy earned Richter immediate acclaim as a historical novelist. The Town won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1951, and The Trees was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection soon after it was published.

Cover of 'The Trees'

The Trees
By Conrad Richter

Toward the close of the eighteenth century, the land west of the Alleghenies and north of the Ohio River was an unbroken sea of trees. Beneath them the forest trails were dark, silent, and lonely, brightened only by a few lost beams of sunlight. Here, in the first novel of Conrad Richter's Awakening Land trilogy, the Lucketts, a wild, woods-faring family, lived their roaming life, pushing ever westward as the frontier advanced and as new settlements threatened their isolation.

Cover of 'A  Gathering of Ways'

A Gathering of Ways
By John Matthias

A Gathering of Ways is John Matthias’ first collection of poems since the publication of his warmly received Northern Summer collection in 1985.

Cover of 'Curtain Calls'

Curtain Calls
British and American Women and the Theater, 1660–1820
Edited by Mary A. Schofield and Cecilia Macheski

“I here and there o’heard a Coxcomb cry, Ah, rot—’tis a Woman’s Comedy.” Thus Aphra Behn ushers in a new era for women in the British Theatre (Sir Patient Fancy, 1678). In the hundred years that were to follow—and exactly those years that Curtain Calls examines—women truly took the theater world by storm.

Cover of 'Justina of Andalusia and Other Stories'

Justina of Andalusia and Other Stories
By Natalie L. M. Petesch

This collection of stories is, like Petesch’s previous work, distinguished by its brilliant lyrical intensity and by characters who are stunningly alive. It is a powerful collection about impassioned cultural conflicts in present-day Spain and Mexico; it is also a book about ourselves—how we have failed to love the Earth and have squandered our resources. In the title story, it is Justina Olivia who breaks the moral law of her village in an unforgettable love story.

Cover of 'Early Prose Writings of William Dean Howells, 1852–1861'

Early Prose Writings of William Dean Howells, 1852–1861
By W. D. Howells
· Edited by Thomas Wortham

While William Dean Howells is today best remembered as Mark Twain’s staunchest defender, Howells was, at his peak, the unrivaled man of letters in America: he had no contemporary equal. The achievements of both Twain and Henry James have since surpassed those of Howells in the literary hierarchy, but the work of Howells still remains an important part of American letters.

Cover of 'The  Nameless Sight'

The Nameless Sight
Poems 1937–1956
By Alan Swallow

Although Alan Swallow's work on behalf of other poets has tended to overshadow his work as a poet, the reputation of his poems has been upon the ascendancy. This volume, a “selected” one, runs the gamut of Swallow's themes. John Holmes reviewed in The New York Times, speaking of “love and compassion warming the face of the carving.” The volume was published in a beautiful limited edition by Carroll Coleman's The Prairie Press.