The Chicago of Fiction: A Resource Guide
The importance of Chicago in American culture has made the city's place in the American imagination a crucial topic for literary scholars and cultural historians. While databases of bibliographical information on Chicago-centered fiction are available, they are of little use to scholars researching works written before the 1980s. In The Chicago of Fiction: A Resource Guide, James A. Kaser provides detailed synopses for more than 1,200 works of fiction significantly set in Chicago and published between 1852 and 1980. The synopses include plot summaries, names of major characters, and an indication of physical settings. An appendix provides bibliographical information for works dating from 1981 well into the 21st century, while a biographical section provides basic information about the authors, some of whom are obscure and would be difficult to find in other sources. Written to assist researchers in locating works of fiction for analysis, the plot summaries highlight ways in which the works touch on major aspects of social history and cultural studies (i.e., class, ethnicity, gender, immigrant experience, and race). The book is also a useful reader advisory tool for librarians and readers who want to identify materials for leisure reading, particularly since genre, juvenile, and young adult fiction, as well as literary fiction, are included.
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