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Literary Criticism, US

Literary Criticism, US Book List

Cover of 'Lyrical Liberators'

Lyrical Liberators
The American Antislavery Movement in Verse, 1831–1865
Edited by Monica Pelaez

Before Black Lives Matter and Hamilton, there were abolitionist poets. In Lyrical Liberators, Monica Pelaez draws on unprecedented archival research to recover, collect, and annotate works by critically acclaimed writers, commercially successful scribes, and minority voices including those of African Americans and women.

Cover of 'Writing an Icon'

Writing an Icon
Celebrity Culture and the Invention of Anaïs Nin
By Anita Jarczok

Before Madonna and her many imitators, there was Anaïs Nin, the diarist, novelist, and provocateur. Jarczok reveals how Nin crafted her personae, which she rewrote and restyled to suit her needs, and how she occupied a singular space in 20th-century culture, as a literary figure, a voice of female sexual liberation, and a celebrity.

Cover of 'The Message of the City'

The Message of the City
Dawn Powell’s New York Novels, 1925–1962
By Patricia E. Palermo

Dawn Powell was a gifted satirist who moved in the same circles as Dorothy Parker, Ernest Hemingway, renowned editor Maxwell Perkins, and other midcentury New York luminaries. Her many novels are typically divided into two groups: those dealing with her native Ohio and those set in New York.

A Choice Significant University Press Title for Undergraduates, 2010-11. · Ranked “Outstanding” in the 2012 University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries listing.
Cover of 'Lit from Within'

Lit from Within
Contemporary Masters on the Art and Craft of Writing
Edited by Kevin Haworth and Dinty W. Moore

Lit from Within offers creative writers a window into the minds of some of America’s most celebrated contemporary authors. Witty, direct, and thought–provoking, these essays offer something to creative writers of all backgrounds and experience. With contributions from fiction writers, poets, and nonfiction writers, this is a collection of unusual breadth and quality.

Cover of 'Reworlding America'

Reworlding America
Myth, History, and Narrative
By John Muthyala

John Muthyala's Reworlding America moves beyond the U.S.-centered approach of traditional American literary criticism. In this groundbreaking book, Muthyala argues for a transgeographical perspective from which to study the literary and cultural histories of the Americas.

Cover of 'The  Absent Man'

The Absent Man
The Narrative Craft of Charles W. Chesnutt
By Charles Duncan

As the first African-American fiction writer to achieve a national reputation, Ohio native Charles W. Chesnutt (1858—1932) in many ways established the terms of the black literary tradition now exemplified by such writers as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Charles Johnson.

Cover of 'An American Vein'

An American Vein
Critical Readings in Appalachian Literature
Edited by Danny L. Miller, Sharon Hatfield, and Gurney Norman

The blossoming of Appalachian studies began some thirty years ago. Thousands of young people from the hills have since been made aware of their region's rich literary tradition through high school and college courses. An entire generation has discovered that their own landscapes, families, and communities had been truthfully portrayed by writers whose background was similar to their own.

Cover of 'Private Poets, Worldly Acts'

Private Poets, Worldly Acts
Public and Private History in Contemporary American Poetry
By Kevin Stein

At a time when poets appear tragically detached from the public for which they write, Kevin Stein persuasively demonstrates in Private Poets, Worldy Acts the way a particular group of diverse poets have manifested their communal concerns. As Choice wrote, “Stein’s graceful text is a primer on the relationship of the (American) poetic to the political.”

Cover of 'Function of Criticism'

Function of Criticism
Problems and Exercises
By Yvor Winters

The Function of Criticism: Problems and Exercises brings together five essays by Yvor Winters: "Problems for the Modern Critic of Literature," "The Audible Reading of Poetry," "The Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins," "Robert Frost, Or the Spiritual Drifter as Poet," and "English Literature in the Sixteenth Century."