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Modern American Literature

Catherine Morley

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An incisive study of modern American literature, casting new light on its origins and themes

Exploring canonical American writers such as Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner alongside less familiar writers like Djuna Barnes and Susan Glaspell, the guide takes readers though a diverse literary landscape. It considers how the rise of the American metropolis contributed to the growth of American modernism; and also examines the ways in which regional writers responded to an accelerated American modernity. Taking in African American modernism, cultural and geographical exile, as well as developments in modern American drama, the guide introduces readers to current critical trends in modernist studies.

Key Features

  • Presents American literary modernism as emerging from a broad intellectual and philosophical landscape
  • Extends the timeframe, definition and intellectual parameters of American modernism
  • Provides close critical and contextual analysis of more than thirty American writers and key texts including Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Djuna Barnes's Nightwood, and T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land


Series Preface
Introduction: Chicago, 1893
Chapter 1: The Making of American Modernism
Chapter 2: Tales of New York City: The Birth of the Modern Metropolis
Chapter 3: Regional American Modernism
Chapter 4: Home Thoughts from Abroad: The Lost Generation
Chapter 5: 'When Harlem Was in Vogue': African American Modernism
Chapter 6: 'Make it New!': Experiments in Poetry and Drama
Conclusion: New York, 1939
Student Resources
Electronic Resources and Reference Sources
Questions for Discussion
Guide to Further Reading

About the Author

Catherine Morley is Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Leicester. She is the author of The Quest for Epic in Contemporary American Literature (2009) and co-editor of American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century (2008) and American Modernism: Cultural Transactions (2009).

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