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A Companion to the Modern American Novel 1900 - 1950

ISBN: 978-0-631-20687-3
616 pages
April 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to the Modern American Novel 1900 - 1950 (0631206876) cover image
This cutting-edge Companion is a comprehensive resource for the study of the modern American novel. Published at a time when literary modernism is being thoroughly reassessed, it reflects current investigations into the origins and character of the movement as a whole.

  • Brings together 28 original essays from leading scholars
  • Allows readers to orient individual works and authors in their principal cultural and social contexts
  • Contributes to efforts to recover minority voices, such as those of African American novelists, and popular subgenres, such as detective fiction
  • Directs students to major relevant scholarship for further inquiry
  • Suggests the many ways that “modern”, “American” and “fiction” carry new meanings in the twenty-first century
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Notes on Contributors viii

List of Figures xiii

Preface xiv

Acknowledgments xxiii

1 An Economic History of the United States 1900–1950 1
Eric Rauchway

2 The Changing Status of Women 1900–1950 13
Nancy Woloch

3 The Status of African Americans 1900–1950 31
Matthew Pratt Guterl

4 Pragmatism, Power, and the Politics of Aesthetic Experience 56
Jeanne Follansbee Quinn

5 Class and Sex in American Fiction: From Casual Laborers to Accidental Desires 73
Michael Trask

6 Jazz: From the Gutter to the Mainstream 91
Jeremy Yudkin

7 French Visual Humanisms and the American Style 116
Justus Nieland

8 Early Literary Modernism 141
Andrew Lawson

9 Naturalism: Turn-of-the-Century Modernism 160
Donna Campbell

10 Money and Things: Capitalist Realism, Anxiety, and Social Critique in Works by Hemingway, Wharton, and Fitzgerald 181
Richard Godden

11 Chronic Modernism 202
Leigh Anne Duck

12 New Regionalisms: Literature and Uneven Development 218
Hsuan L. Hsu

13 "The Possibilities of Hard-Won Land": Midwestern Modernism and the Novel 240
Edward P. Comentale

14 Writing the Modern South 266
Susan V. Donaldson

15 What Was High About Modernism? The American Novel and Modernity 282
John T. Matthews

16 African-American Modernisms 306
Michelle Stephens

17 Ethnic Modernism 324
Rita Keresztesi

18 The Proletarian Novel 353
Barbara Foley

19 Revolutionary Sentiments: Modern American Domestic Fiction and the Rise of the Welfare State 367
Susan Edmunds

20 Lesbian Fiction 1900–1950 392
Heather Love

21 The Gay Novel in the United States 1900–1950 414
Christopher Looby

22 The Popular Western 437
William R. Handley

23 Twentieth-Century American Crime and Detective Fiction 454
Charles J. Rzepka

24 What Price Hollywood? Modern American Writers and the Movies 466
Mark Eaton

25 The Belated Tradition of Asian-American Modernism 496
Delia Konzett

26 Modernism and Protopostmodernism 518
Patrick O'Donnell

27 The Modern Novel in a New World Context 535
George B. Handley

28 Reheated Figures: Five Ways of Looking at Leftovers 554
Jani Scandura

Index 579

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John T. Matthews is Professor of English and American Studies at Boston University. His publications include William Faulkner: Seeing Through the South (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009); "The Sound and the Fury": Faulkner and the Lost Cause (1990); The Play of Faulkner's Language (1982); and numerous articles and chapters on Faulkner, including recent essays in Look Away! The U.S. South and New World Studies (2004) and American Literary History (2004). He is currently working on a study of the problem of the South in the modern American imagination. Matthews was a founding coeditor of The Faulkner Journal and serves on editorial boards for the New Southern Studies Series, Arizona Quarterly, Modern Fiction Studies, and The Mississippi Quarterly.
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* A comprehensive resource for the study of the modern American novel.

* Reflects current investigations into the origins and character of modernism.

* Allows readers to orient individual works and authors in their principal cultural and social contexts.

* Contributes to efforts to recover minority voices, such as those of African American novelists, and popular subgenres, such as detective fiction.
* Directs students to major relevant scholarship for further inquiry.

* Suggests the many ways that “modern”, “American” and “fiction” carry new meanings in the twenty-first century.

See More
"A strong contribution to literature on modernist American studies, this marvelous collection offers a comprehensive overview of modern American fiction and its study, along with directions for new scholarship." (CHOICE, 2009)
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