The Chronology of American Literature: America's Literary Achievements from the Colonial Era to Modern Times
Daniel S. Burt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 805 pages
If you are looking to brush up on your literary knowledge, check a favorite author’s work, or see a year’s bestsellers at a glance, The Chronology of American Literature is the perfect resource. At once an authoritative reference and an ideal browser’s guide, this book outlines the indispensable information in America’s rich literary past--from major publications to lesser-known gems--while also identifying larger trends along the literary timeline.
Who wrote the first published book in America? When did Edgar Allan Poe achieve notoriety as a mystery writer? What was Hemingway’s breakout title? With more than 8,000 works by 5,000 authors, The Chronology makes it easy to find answers to these questions and more. Authors and their works are grouped within each year by category: fiction and nonfiction; poems; drama; literary criticism; and publishing events. Short, concise entries describe an author’s major works for a particular year while placing them within the larger context of that writer’s career. The result is a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of some of America’s most prominent writers. Perhaps most important, The Chronology offers an invaluable line through our literary past, tying literature to the American experience--war and peace, boom and bust, and reaction to social change. You’ll find everything here from Benjamin Franklin’s “Experiments and Observations on Electricity,” to Davy Crockett’s first memoir; from Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” to Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome; from meditations by James Weldon Johnson and James Agee to poetry by Elizabeth Bishop. Also included here are seminal works by authors such as Rachel Carson, Toni Morrison, John Updike, and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
Lavishly illustrated--and rounded out with handy bestseller lists throughout the twentieth century, lists of literary awards and prizes, and authors’ birth and death dates--The Chronology of American Literature belongs on the shelf of every bibliophile and literary enthusiast. It is the essential link to our literary past and present.
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