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The Cambridge Companion to American Literature of the 1930s


Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

William Solomon, Alan Wald, Matthew Stratton, Catherine Morley, Ruth Jennison, Paula Rabinowitz, Ilka Saal, Laura Hapke, Thomas J. Ferraro, Chris Vials, Nathaniel Mills, Jennifer Haytock, Caren Irr
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  • Date Published: November 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108429184

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About the Authors
  • This Companion offers a compelling survey of American literature in the 1930s. These thirteen new essays by accomplished scholars in the field provide re-examinations of crucial trends in the decade: the rise of the proletarian novel; the intersection of radical politics and experimental aesthetics; the documentary turn; the rise of left-wing theatres; popular fictional genres; the impact of Marxist thought on African-American historical writing; the relation of modernist prose to mass entertainment. Placing such issues in their political and economic contexts, this Companion constitutes an excellent introduction to a vital area of critical and scholarly inquiry. This collection also functions as a valuable reference guide to Depression-era cultural practice, furnishing readers with a chronology of important historical events in the decade and crucial publication dates, as well as a wide-ranging bibliography for those interested in reading further into the field.

    • Presents a contemporary reassessment of the significance of the literature of the 1930s
    • Provides students with an efficient means of learning about the history of the Great Depression
    • Introduces the central problems, topics, and materials that have guided scholars in the past and continue to do so in the present
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108429184
    • length: 292 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 156 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction William Solomon
    1. Marxist literary debates in the 1930s Alan Wald
    2. Aesthetics and politics of the depression era Matthew Stratton
    3. Architects of history: politics and experimentalism in American writing of the 1930s Catherine Morley
    4. Radical politics and experimental poetics in the 1930s Ruth Jennison
    5. 'I plan to send you some pictures': documenting the 1930s in cold blood Paula Rabinowitz
    6. Songs of social significance: theatre of the depression era Ilka Saal
    7. Literature and labor Laura Hapke
    8. Transgression and redemption in the 1930s Thomas J. Ferraro
    9. The 'race radical thrust of ethnic proletarian literature in the 1930s Chris Vials
    10. African American historical writing in the depression Nathaniel Mills
    11. Popular fiction in the 1930s Jennifer Haytock and William Solomon
    12. Performance and politics in the 1930s William Solomon
    13. Remembering the 1930s in contemporary historical fiction Caren Irr.

  • Editor

    William Solomon, State University of New York, Buffalo
    William Solomon is a professor of English at the State University of New York, Buffalo. He is the author of Literature, Amusement, and Technology in the Great Depression (Cambridge, 2002) and Slapstick Modernism: Chaplin to Kerouac to Iggy Pop (2016). He has published numerous articles on the intersection of politics, American literature, popular culture, and film. These include 'Politics and Rhetoric in the Novel in the 1930s' (American Literature, 1996); 'Wound Culture and James Agee' (Arizona Quarterly, 2002); 'The Rhetoric of the Freak Show in Eudora Welty's A Curtain of Green' (Mississippi Quarterly, 2015).


    William Solomon, Alan Wald, Matthew Stratton, Catherine Morley, Ruth Jennison, Paula Rabinowitz, Ilka Saal, Laura Hapke, Thomas J. Ferraro, Chris Vials, Nathaniel Mills, Jennifer Haytock, Caren Irr

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