Write Now: American Literature in the 1980s and 1990s, Volume 68
by Sharon O'Brien
Duke University Press
Paper: 978-0-8223-6437-5

Write Now speculates on some of the dominant literary and critical trends in contemporary American literature, bringing together writers and critics in a volume that shows how literature engages both the mind and the heart. The essays in this collection show that today’s writers are blurring the lines between genres, challenging the boundaries that distinguish fiction from nonfiction, memoir from biography, essay from poetry, and autobiography from criticism.
Contributors explore many of the relationships now shaping American literature and criticism, including the tensions between postmodernist playfulness and autobiographical earnestness, art and commerce, and politics and aesthetics. Novelists Miriam Levine, Robert Olmstead, and Jonathan Strong offers essays on their creative processes and discuss the imaginative and emotional mysteries of writing and reading. Essays on Alice Walker, Art Spiegelman, Marilynne Robinson, and AIDS literature examine how the act of writing is linked to themes of longing, discovery, desire, and betrayal.
In evaluating both familiar and rarely studied contemporary literature from the standpoint of practicing writers as well as critics, this volume challenges the literary politics that silence critics as well as writers and testifies to the power of silent works to speak aloud. Certain to spark conversations about the politics of scholarship on current American writing, Write Now will be of interest to teachers and scholars of creative writing and American literary studies, those engaged in the arts of writing and literary criticism, and readers of contemporary American literature.

Contributors. Bonnie Braendlin, Christine Caver, Thomas Doherty, Rachel Blau DePlessis, Jennifer Gillan, Stephanie Girard, Deborah Landau, Miriam Levine, Sharon O’Brien, Robert Olmstead, Juliana Spahr, Jonathan Strong

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