The Novel and the American Left

The Novel and the American Left

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The first collection of critical essays to focus specifically on the fiction produced by American novelists of the Depression era, The Novel and the American Left contributes substantially to the newly emerging emphasis on twentieth-century American literary radicalism. Recent studies have recovered this body of work and redefined in historical and theoretical terms its vibrant contribution to American letters. Casey consolidates and expands this field of study by providing a more specific consideration of individual novels and novelists, many of which are reaching new contemporary audiences through reprints. The Novel and the American Left focuses exclusively on left-leaning fiction of the Depression era, lending visibility and increased critical validity to these works and showing the various ways in which they contributed not only to theorizations of the Left but also to debates about the content and form of American fiction. In theoretical terms, the collection as a whole contributes to the larger reconceptualization of American modernity currently under way. More pragmatically, individual essays suggest specific authors, texts, and approaches to teachers and scholars seeking to broaden and/or complicate more traditional a€œAmerican modernisma€ syllabi and research agendas. The selected essays take up, among others, such a€œhard-coreqa€ leftist writers as Mike Gold and Myra Page, who were associated with the Communist Party; the popular novels of James M. Cain and Kenneth Fearing, whose works were made into successful films; and critically acclaimed but nonetheless a€œlosta€ novelists such as Josephine Johnson, whose Now in November (Pulitzer Prize, 1936) anticipates and complicates the more popular agrarian mythos of Steinbecka€™s The Grapes of Wrath. This volume will be of interest not only to literary specialists but also to historians, social scientists, and those interested in American cultural studies.Critical Essays on Depression-Era Fiction Janet Galligani Casey ... the anonymous readers for the University of Iowa Press, who offered useful suggestions for improving individual essays and the collection as a ... We would also like to acknowledge Prasen- jit Gupta and Holly Carver of the Press for their prompt and carefulanbsp;...

Title:The Novel and the American Left
Author:Janet Galligani Casey
Publisher:University of Iowa Press - 2004-06-01


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