SuburbiaNation: Reading Suburban Landscape in Twentieth-Century American Fiction and Film

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Palgrave Macmillan, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 284 pages
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Green lawns, swimming pools, backyard barbecues: welcome to suburbia, the promised land of the American middle class. Or is it? To judge by the depiction of suburbia in prominent works of American fiction and film, the suburbs are also home to dysfunctional families, broken communities, and widespread misery. Clearly, despite the continued popularity of the suburbs as a place to live, the prevailing image of suburbia has changed markedly since the days of Leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best. In this book, Robert Beuka argues that in order to begin to understand our conflicted relationship toward the suburbs, we need to understand how suburbia has come to be defined through its representation in the popular media and arts. SuburbiaNation looks carefully at the suburban landscape through the lens of fiction and of film, and Beuka weaves together such classics as It's a Wonderful Life, The Stepford Wives, The Great Gatsby, The Swimmer, The Graduate, and House Party to discuss the suburb and its significance in American culture.

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About the author (2004)

Robert Beuka is Assistant Professor of English at Bronx Community College, City University of New York. He lives in Huntington, New York with his wife, Nadine, and son, Malcolm.