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Literature and Society: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Nonfiction (3rd Edition) Paperback – August 13, 1999

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0130124814 ISBN-10: 0130124818 Edition: 3rd

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Literature and Society: 2009 MLA Update (4th Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Literature and Society is a thematically organized collection of short fiction, poetry, drama and nonfiction selections by a diverse group of writers representing a wide range of voices -- in gender, age, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, social class. The anthology 1) offers a broad spectrum of selections--drawn from the traditional and the contemporary and from a wide variety of sectors of the literary world, 2) organizes the selections around socially relevant themes that students can relate to directly, and 3) provides strong pedagogical support for understanding the various forms of literature and for writing about them. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

An enriching introduction to the diverse and exciting world of literature, this anthology offers a broad collection of short fiction, poetry, drama and nonfiction selections written by a diverse group of writers who represent different social classes, races, genders, cultures, and sexual orientations. Organizes selections around five socially relevant themes—Growing Up and Growing Older; Women and Men; Money and Work; Peace and War; and Varieties of Protest. Shows how literary technique serves larger purposes—the recreation of experience, the exploration of ideas, the analysis of social issues—and how these larger purposes themselves shape literary form. Explains the ways in which literary form creates meaning, and provides a strong emphasis on writing about literature throughout, with a full chapter on all stages of the writing process —generating ideas, developing a thesis, discovering a form, drafting, revising, and editing—plus numerous excerpts from sample papers and journals. Now contains 42 new works, with more by Native American and Latino/Latina writers, as well as Bertolt Brecht's play Mother Courage and Shakespeare's Othello; also includes 18 works of nonfiction prose that have been chosen both for their literary technique as well as for their exploration of the five major themes.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1467 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 3 edition (August 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130124818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130124814
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Siegel on March 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
I respectfully disagree with reviewer Jeffrey Leeper; this is a solid text for a college-level introductory course in literature. The selections assume an intelligent reader, which covers most of my students.

I specifically chose this text because I wanted to approach the course from a societal perspective, and I was impressed by the editors'/authors' arrangement: "Growing Up and Growing Older," "Women and Men," "Money and Work," "Peace and War," and "Varieties of Protest." Sometimes, I switch works into other categories, for example, Sylvia Plath's poetry and play THREE WOMEN from "Growing Up and Growing Older" to "Varieties of Protest." But that's a matter of personal preference.

Mr. Leeper is probably correct that a professor may not want to use this particular text for an introductory literature course emphasizing a standard approach or for a writing about literature course. But, certainly, for a higher-level thematic course, such as Literature and Society, this text would no doubt offer an excellent choice.

I like the variety of works; this text could easily cover one or even two semesters of literature, covering not only fiction and poetry thoroughly, but also drama, including known and lesser known playwrights: William Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen, Arthur Miller, Lorraine Hansberry, Susan Glaspell and Alice Childress, among others. I would like to see more in-depth creative nonfiction, but, for now, I supplement the text with an inexpensive trade edition of HIROSHIMA. In later editions, the editors might consider adding some longer current and classic creative nonfiction selections, such as memoirs, journalistic features, and biography.

I have only one quibble: cost.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wayne M. Wilkinson on August 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
A text/anthology with a difference. Literature and Society, 2nd Edition, provides an extensive, varied, and innovative introduction to four literary genres: fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fictional prose. It offers a broad spectrum of selections, traditional as well as contemporary, and organizes the selection around socially relevant themes that students can relate to easily. In addition, it provides pedagogical support for understanding literary form and writing about it.

Literature and Society demonstrates how literary techniques serve larger purposes - and how these larger purposes shape literary form.

Among its many unique features, the Second Edition:
* Organizes the literature around five socially relevant themes
- Growing up and Growing older
- Women and Men
- Money and Work
- Peace and War
- Varieties of Protest

* Offers a variety of works by women, African American, ethnic, working class, and other writers traditionally under-represented.

* Includes an introduction to each literary genre, a process-oriented chapter on how to write about literature, and author biographies, discussion questions, and writing exercises for all stories, plays, works of non-fiction, and key poems.

This will remain a trusted resource and reference long after subsequent revisions are released. - 5 Stars.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leeper on May 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a literature textbook for a survey course, then this book is not for you. It is designed for students, but it is also designed to illustrate literature's place in our society.
The beginning goes into the writing process and writing about literature. There is an example of writing on poetry, but it is only two paragraph's worth. Most students would like to see the whole essay.
The bulk of the book is arranged in topics, which have subtopics of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction. The topics, "Growing up and Growing Older," "Women and Men," "Money and Work," "Peace and War," and "Varieties of Protest," give you a wide variety of selections to illustrate the idea. Unless you plan on structuring your course this way, this isn't the easiest text to navigate a class through.
The end of the book has a section devoted to each of the subtopics: fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction. Here, strategies and elements of each of these subtopics are illustrated here. The examples used here refer to selections from the text, which allows the student to refer back. This is a good touch.
I would not recommend this book as long as you are teaching a survey course.
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