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A Companion to the American Short Story

Alfred Bendixen (Editor), James Nagel (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-1543-8
536 pages
March 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to the American Short Story (1405115432) cover image
A Companion to the American Short Story traces the development of this versatile literary genre over the past 200 years.
  • Sets the short story in context, paying attention to the interaction of cultural forces and aesthetic principles
  • Contributes to the ongoing redefinition of the American canon, with close attention to the achievements of women writers as well as such important genres as the ghost story and detective fiction
  • Embraces diverse traditions including African-American, Jewish-American, Latino, Native-American, and regional short story writing
  • Includes a section focused on specific authors and texts, from Edgar Allen Poe to John Updike

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Notes on Contributors.

Acknowledgments.

Part I: The Nineteenth Century.

1 The Emergence and Development of the American Short Story (Alfred Bendixen).

2 Poe and the American Short Story (Benjamin F. Fisher).

3 A Guide to Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener" (Steven T. Ryan).

4 Towards History and Beyond: Hawthorne and the American Short Story (Alfred Bendixen).

5 Charles W. Chesnutt and the Fictions of a "New" America (Charles Duncan).

6 Mark Twain and the American Comic Short Story (David E. E. Sloane).

7 New England Local-Color Literature: A Colonial Formation (Josephine Donovan).

8 Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Feminist Tradition of the American Short Story (Martha J. Cutter).

9 The Short Stories of Edith Wharton (Donna Campbell).

Part II: The Transition into the New Century.

10 The Short Stories of Stephen Crane (Paul Sorrentino).

11 Kate Chopin (Charlotte Rich).

12 Frank Norris and Jack London (Jeanne Campbell Reesman).

13 From "Water Drops" to General Strikes: Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Short Fiction and Social Change (Andrew J. Furer).

Part III: The Twentieth Century.

14 The Twentieth Century: A Period of Innovation and Continuity (James Nagel).

15 The Hemingway Story (George Monteiro).

16 William Faulkner’s Short Stories (Hugh Ruppersburg).

17 Katherine Anne Porter (Ruth M. Alvarez).

18 Eudora Welty and the Short Story: Theory and Practice (Ruth D. Weston).

19 The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald: Structure, Narrative Technique, Style (Kirk Curnutt).

20 “The Look of the World”: Richard Wright on Perspective (Mikko Tuhkanen).

21 Small Planets: The Short Fiction of Saul Bellow (Gloria L. Cronin).

22 John Updike (Robert M. Luscher).

23 Raymond Carver in the Twenty-First Century (Sandra Lee Kleppe).

24 Multi-Ethnic Female Identity and Denise Chávez's The Last of the Menu Girls (Karen Weekes).

Part IV: Expansive Considerations.

25 Landscape as Haven in American Women's Short Stories (Leah B. Glasser).

26 The American Ghost Story (Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock).

27 The Detective Story (Catherine Ross Nickerson).

28 The Asian American Short Story (Wenying Xu).

29 The Jewish American Story (Andrew Furman).

30 The Multiethnic American Short Story (Molly Crumpton Winter).

31 "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" American Restlessness and the Short-Story Cycle (Jeff Birkenstein).

Index.

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 Alfred Bendixen, Professor of English at Texas A& M University, is the founder of the American Literature Association, which he currently serves as Executive Director.  His books include Haunted Women (1985), an edition of the composite novel, The Whole Family (1986), "The Amber Gods" and other stories by Harriet Prescott Spofford, (1989), and Edith Wharton: New Critical Essays (1992). He is the associate editor of the Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature (1999), the co-editor of the recently published Cambridge Companion to American Travel Writing (2009), and one of the five contributing editors to the forthcoming Wadsworth Anthology of American Literature.

James Nagel is the Eidson Distinguished Professor of American Literature at the University of Georgia. Early in his career he founded the scholarly journal Studies in American Fiction and the widely influential series Critical Essays on American Literature. Among his twenty books are Stephen Crane and Literary Impressionism, Hemingway in Love and War (which was made into a Hollywood film directed by Lord Richard Attenborough), and The Contemporary American Short-Story Cycle. He has published some eighty articles in the field, and he has lectured on American literature in fifteen countries. In 2005, he was given the lifetime achievement award for contributions to the field by the American Literature Association.

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  • This survey volume traces the development of the American short story over the past 200 years

  • Sets the short story in context, paying attention to the interaction of cultural forces and aesthetic principles

  • Contributes to the ongoing redefinition of the American canon, covering genres such as the ghost story, science fiction and detective fiction

  • Embraces diverse traditions including African-American, Jewish-American, Latino, Native-American, and regional short story writing

  • Includes a section focused on specific authors and texts, from Edgar Allen Poe to John Updike
See More
"This accessible and attractive volume is split into four sections offering a history of the American short story. The first three are presented chronologically, with chapters on stories from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and a transitional period in between . . . For all readers, it is what such a Companion should be-a ladder that the newly enthused short-story reader will climb, only to move onto higher ground." (Routledge ABES, 2011)

 

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