Dictionary of Midwestern Literature: Dimensions of the Midwestern Literary Imagination - Vol. 2

Dictionary of Midwestern Literature: Dimensions of the Midwestern Literary Imagination - Vol. 2

Dictionary of Midwestern Literature: Dimensions of the Midwestern Literary Imagination - Vol. 2

Dictionary of Midwestern Literature: Dimensions of the Midwestern Literary Imagination - Vol. 2

Synopsis

The Midwest has produced a robust literary heritage. Its authors have won half of the nation's Nobel Prizes for Literature plus a significant number of Pulitzer Prizes. This volume explores the rich racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the region. It also contains entries on 35 pivotal Midwestern literary works, literary genres, literary, cultural, historical, and social movements, state and city literatures, literary journals and magazines, as well as entries on science fiction, film, comic strips,graphic novels, and environmental writing. Prepared by a team of scholars, this second volume of the Dictionary of Midwestern Literature is a comprehensive resource that demonstrates the Midwest's continuing cultural vitality and the stature and distinctiveness of its literature.

Excerpt

The Dictionary of Midwestern Literature, Volume Two: Dimensions of the Midwestern Literary Imagination is the second in a projected three volume series being created by the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. It complements the depiction in Volume One: the Authors of the lives, literary significance, leading works, and most important secondary sources on nearly four hundred Midwestern authors, poets, dramatists, and journalists from the advent of widespread European settlement in the region to the present. Both volumes are designed to meet the needs of many users, from literary scholars, college students, and university and community librarians to casual readers, high school students, and their parents. These volumes serve diverse purposes: each essay covers its topic fully, but some readers may choose instead to consult specific sections for historical background, analytical insights, leading primary works reflecting that topic, or secondary sources offering additional information.

The lead chapter for this series, “The Origins and Development of the Literature of the Midwest” by david D. anderson (1924–2011), contextualizes the region’s authors, literature, sites, centers, movements, and literary history. While the first volume consists of author biographies, analyses of their writings’ Midwestern significance, and identification of the major critical sources on them, volume 2 makes clear the dimensions of the Midwestern literary imagination through coverage of the following topics:

• Thirty-five pivotal Midwestern literary texts: fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry written in English or experiencing rapid or simultaneous translation into English. These pivotal books represent an array of genres from picaresque novels and environmental literature to fantasy and humor. All assist in defining the literature, values, and culture of the Midwest and have become crucial texts in the evolving Midwestern and American literary canon. See also the changing midwestern literary canon.

• Entries representing the region’s location and geography, including essays on states carved from the original Northwest Territory, illinois, indiana, michigan, ohio, and wisconsin, and those trans-Mississippi states created from the Louisiana Purchase and the advancing western frontier, iowa, kansas, minnesota, missouri, nebraska . . .

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