Publisher description for The Cambridge history of American literature / general editor, Sacvan Bercovitch ; associate editor, Cyrus R.K. Patell.


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Counter Volume VII of the Cambridge History of American Literature examines a broad range of American literature of the past half-century, revealing complex relations to changes in society. Christopher Bigsby discusses American dramatists from Tennessee Williams to August Wilson, showing how innovations in theatre anticipated a world of emerging countercultures and provided America with an alternative view of contemporary life. Morris Dickstein describes the condition of rebellion in fiction from 1940 to 1970, linking writers as diverse as James Baldwin and John Updike. John Burt examines writers of the American South, describing the tensions between modernization and continued entanglements with the past. Wendy Steiner examines the postmodern fictions since 1970, and shows how the questioning of artistic assumptions has broadened the canon of American literature. Finally, Cyrus Patell highlights the voices of Native American, Asian American, Chicano, gay and lesbian writers, often marginalized but here discussed within and against a broad set of national traditions.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: American literature History and criticism