Studies in American Fiction

This journal provides articles, notes and reviews on prose fiction of the United States since the colonial period.

Articles from Vol. 28, No. 1, Spring

Harriet Beecher Stowe's Conversation with the Atlantic Monthly: The Construction of the Minister's Wooing
The opening paragraphs of Harriet Beecher Stowe's The Minister's Wooing begin the novel in an unconventional fashion. Stowe first issues a blunt statement of fact that reads much like a formulaic social announcement placed in a local newspaper: "Mrs....
Living with It: The Comic Valedictories of Faulkner and O'neill, "Ah, Wilderness!" and the Reivers
All but one of the Reivers' complicated, almost slapstick jokes have been played out; Colonel Linscomb and the assembled white men, awed and befuddled, try to sort out how a borrowed car was traded for a stolen horse that had some fishy source of speed....
(Re)staging Colonial Encounters: Chesnutt's Critique of Imperialism in the Conjure Woman
Charles Chesnutt's The Conjure Woman has long been treated as a regionalist work, set as it is during Reconstruction in the fictional town of Patesville, North Carolina, which Chesnutt modeled on his native Fayetteville. But The Conjure Woman also...
The Awakening's Signifiying "Mexicanist" Presence
Since the appearance in 1992 of Toni Morrison's paradigm-changing Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, critics have striven to respond to her mandate that we develop a new "critical geography." Playing in the Dark asks, how...
The Novel and Public Truth: Saul Bellow's the Dean's December
Can the novel, at the end of the twentieth century, still speak public truth? This is a question that has haunted Saul Bellow's fiction since Joseph, in Dangling Man, could find no connection between his private experience and the historic realities...
The Reluctant Witness: What Jean Toomer Remembered from Winesburg, Ohio
"Winesburg, Ohio and The Triumph of the Egg are elements of my growing. It is hard to think of my maturing without them." --Jean Toomer to Sherwood Anderson, December 18, 1922 The Sherwood Anderson whom Toomer said he admired was the Anderson...
"The Tender Passion Was Very Rife among Us": Coverdale's Queer Utopia and the Blithedale Romance
To what can we attribute the failure of the Blithedale experiment? In one way or another, most readers of Hawthorne's The Blithedale Romance approach this question. As John Hirsh observes, the fate of the Blithedalers' social experiment is at least...