- Hardcover: 1152 pages
- Publisher: Facts on File (August 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0816045283
- ISBN-13: 978-0816045280
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 3.2 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#3,451,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #492 in Books > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Publishing & Books > Bibliographies & Indexes > History
- #558 in Books > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Publishing & Books > Bibliographies & Indexes > Literature
- #2004 in Books > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Reference
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Facts on File Companion to the American Novel (Companion to Literature) 3-Volume Set
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–This A-to-Z reference contains 450 biographical overviews of American and foreign-born authors living in the United States and 500 signed analytical essays on their novels. The works chosen are those most studied, or are significant for the genre. The time span ranges from 18th- and 19th-century writers such as Charles Brockden Brown and Harriet Beecher Stowe to contemporaries such as Cormac McCarthy and Anne Tyler. There isn't an analytical essay for each author profiled; for example, the entry on Dan Brown does not include a separate essay about his best seller The Da Vinci Code. Works by foreign-born authors include Bharati Mukherjee's Jasmine and Cristina Garcia's Dreaming in Cuban. Most Pulitzer and National Book Award winners are included, and there is a section of genre essays about novels by African-American, Asian-American, Latino, and Native American authors. Biographical sketches contain some personal information but focus on the writers' careers and their work. Essays on specific novels neatly describe social context, themes, genre, and critical reception. The last volume includes a list of novels; sources, including Web sites; and an index with plenty of cross-references. Libraries will value this compact set for including classics as well as hard-to-find contemporary authors.–Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* The Facts On File Companion to the American Novel is part of Facts On File's Companion to Literature series, joining companions to drama, poetry, and the short story. More than 900 alphabetically arranged entries (by 224 contributors) treat authors and major works. Most author entries are a page or so in length, entries on novels tend to be a little longer, and all are followed by short bibliographies. These bibliographies include primary, secondary, and online resources.
Author entries treat roughly 450 writers selected on the basis of prizes won, critical acclaim, historical significance, or artistic merit. The editor has made a concerted effort to include a significant number of women writers and authors from a variety of ethnic groups. The work encompasses all of American history, but its strength is in its coverage of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including entries on newer writers, such as Myla Goldberg, Jonathan Lethem, and Alice Sebold, and critical essays on a number of titles, such as Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake and Philip Roth's The Plot against America, published since 2001. More than 500 texts are profiled, primarily because of their significance in American literary history and selection for study in high-school and college classrooms. Although novels make up the largest number, some novellas and nonfiction works are included as well. Five subject essays follow the A-Z entries, covering the detective novel and African American, Asian American, Latino, and Native American novels. Appendixes include a list of winners of six major prizes (current through 2006 for some prizes and 2005 for others) and a selected bibliography of secondary sources. Although some topics--feminism, the Jewish American novel, and science fiction, among others--are not represented in the topical essays, they are amply referenced within entries, with access provided by an in-depth index. The index helps make up for the lack of a complete list of entries, something that others in this series also need. In many cases, the index provides excellent research assistance; for instance, the index entries on themes, such as African-American middle class, immigrant experience, and miscegenation, lead to many specific novels and authors. Cross-references in the index would be helpful.
The bottom line is that no other reference work on American fiction brings together such an array of authors and texts as this. Editor Werlock has published articles on American and British literature and women writers and edited the award-winning Facts On File Companion to the American Short Story (2000). Recommended for high-school, public, and undergraduate collections. Joseph Thomas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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