260 books about Authors, American and 16
start with C
The Canals of Mars: A Memoir
Gary Fincke Michigan State University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PS3556.I457Z46 2010 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
The Canals of Mars is a memoir that explores and ponders "weakness," which in Gary Fincke's family was the catch-all term for every possible human flaw-physical, psychological, or spiritual. Fincke grew up near Pittsburgh during the 1950s and 1960s, raised by blue-collar parents for whom the problems that beset people-from alcoholism to nearsightedness to asthma to fear of heights-were nothing but weaknesses.
In a highly engaging style, Fincke meditates on the disappointments he suffered-in his body, his mind, his work-because he was convinced that he had to be "perfect." Anything less than perfection was weakness and no one, he understood from an early age, wants to be weak.
Six of the chapters in the book have been cited in Best American Essays. The chapter that provides the book's title, The Canals of Mars, won a Pushcart Prize and was included in The Pushcart Book of Essays: The Best Essays from a Quarter Century of the Pushcart Prize.
In the 1840s and 1850s, as the market revolution swept the United States, the world of literature confronted for the first time the gaudy glare of commercial culture. Amid growing technological sophistication and growing artistic rejection of the soullessness of materialism, authorship passed from an era of patronage and entered the clamoring free market. In this setting, romantic notions of what it meant to be an author came under attack, and authors became professionals.
In lively and provocative writing, David Dowling moves beyond a study of the emotional toll that this crisis in self-definition had on writers to examine how three sets of authors—in pairings of men and women: Harriet Wilson and Henry David Thoreau, Fanny Fern and Walt Whitman, and Rebecca Harding Davis and Herman Melville—engaged with and transformed the book market. What were their critiques of the capitalism that was transforming the world around them? How did they respond to the changing marketplace that came to define their very success as authors? How was the role of women influenced by these conditions?
Capital Letters concludes with a fascinating and daring transhistorical comparison of how two superstar authors—Herman Melville in the nineteenth century and Stephen King today—have negotiated the shifting terrain of the literary marketplace. The result is an important contribution to our understanding of print culture and literary work.
In this audacious memoir, William Cobb reveals the tumultuous creative life of a distinguished practitioner of southern and Alabama storytelling. As poignant and inspiring as his own fiction, Captain Billy’s Troopers traces Cobb’s early life, education, and struggles with alcohol and the debilitating condition normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH).
Like a curving river, the broad sweep of Cobb’s turbulent life includes both startling cataracts and desultory eddies, leading sometimes into shadows or opening into unexpected sunlight. With unsentimental clarity, Cobb recounts coming of age in his native Demopolis in the churning middle years of the twentieth century. It’s there he has his first tantalizing tastes of alcohol and begins to drink habitually. Readers then travel with Cobb to Livingston University (now the University of West Alabama) and then on to Vanderbilt University. Along the way, readers relish his first experiences of love and success as a writer, leading to a career as a professor of writing at Alabama College (now the University of Montevallo) in 1963.
From there Cobb’s struggles with alcohol and depression lead to elongated years of tumbling creative output and the collapse of his marriage. The summer of 1984 found Cobb in rehab, the first step in his path to recovery. His unflinching memoir narrates both the milestones and telling details of his intense therapy and years in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). In the sober thirty years since, Cobb has published a string of critically praised novels and a prize-winning collection of short stories. The capstone of his comeback was winning the Harper Lee Award in 2007 for distinguished fiction writing.
In 2000, shortly after retiring, Cobb developed NPH, which upset his sense of balance and triggered dementia symptoms and other maladies. Nine years later in 2009, brain surgery brought Cobb a dramatic recovery, which began the third act in his writing career. Vital, honest, and entertaining, Captain Billy’s Troopers captures the life of an Alabama original.
"Because it represents the first scholarly effort to establish texts as close as possible to the intentions of the author, this Centenary Edition makes obsolete all previous editions, notorious for their textual corruption. An eminent staff . . . has analyzed and synthesized the evidence of all MSS and worthwhile printed editions. Each volume includes a well documented introduction concerning such matters as circumstances leading to composition and history of publication as well as textual notes on alterations in the MSS, editorial emendations, etc." --Choice
"The Centenary Edition, which has been producing weighty volumes of definitively edited texts of Hawthorne for a full generation, is now the sine qua non of Hawthorne scholarship. As an example of editorial care and research thoroughness it has been a model for the profession and as a physical object a model for publishers. In addition to the immensely important achievement of producing fully accurate texts of the romances, tales, and sketches, the Centenary editors have made available, for the very first time, all of the various Notebooks and letters. For the letters, especially, the wait has been long but the result is gratifying. Reading straight through the Centenary's six volumes of letters is a self-indulgent pleasure that brings us markedly closer to the man than we can get in any other way." --American Literature
Representing decades of work, this is the definitive edition of Hawthorne's works. Each volume includes comprehensive notes and explanatory material.
I: The Scarlet Letter $62.95 cloth 0-8142-0059-1
II: The House of the Seven Gables $69.95 cloth 0-8142-0060-5
III: The Blithedale Romance and Fanshawe $72.95 cloth 0-8142-0061-3
IV: The Marble Faun $83.95 cloth 0-8142-0062-1
V: Our Old Home $72.95 cloth 0-8142-0002-8
VI: True Stories from History and Biography $72.95 cloth 0-8142-0157-1
VII: A Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales $72.95 cloth 0-8142-0158-X
VIII: The American Notebooks $98.95 cloth 0-8142-0159-8
IX: Twice-told Tales $83.95 cloth 0-8142-0202-0
X: Mosses from an Old Manse $83.95 cloth 0-8142-0203-9
XI: The Snow Image and Uncollected Tales $72.95 cloth 0-8142-0204-7
XII: The American Claimant Manuscripts $83.95 cloth 0-8142-0251-9
XIII: The Elixir of Life Manuscripts $98.95 cloth 0-8142-0252-7
XIV: The French and Italian Notebooks $98.95 cloth 0-8142-0256-X
XV: The Letters, 1813-1843 $98.95 cloth 0-8142-0363-9
XVI: The Letters, 1843-1853 $98.95 cloth 0-8142-0364-7
XVII: The Letters, 1853-1856 $83.95 cloth 0-8142-0365-5
XVIII: The Letters, 1857-1864 $98.95 cloth 0-8142-0383-3
XIX: The Consular Letters, 1853-1855 $83.95 cloth 0-8142-0384-1
XX: The Consular Letters, 1856-1857 $83.95 cloth 0-8142-0462-7
XXI: The English Notebooks, 1853-1856 $98.95 cloth 0-8142-0670-0
XXII: The English Notebooks, 1856-1860 $98.95 cloth 0-8142-0671-9
XXIII: Miscellaneous Prose and Verse $98.95 cloth 0-8142-0644-1
Karin Rosa Ikas offers probing and insightful interviews with ten Chicana writers of diverse backgrounds: Denise Chávez, Gloria Anzaldúa, Lucha Corpi, Cherríe Moraga, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Mary Helen Ponce, Jamie Lujan, Demetria Martinez, Estela Portillo-Trambley, and Pat Mora. The interviews address such topics as personal background, education, sense of ethnic and gender identity, the origins and intention of published works, and general views on writing, culture, and art, revealing a rich multiplicity of Chicana voices and views in diverse genres including poetry, drama, and fiction. For each of these women, though, her identity as a Chicana and as a woman is critically important to her evolution and purpose as a writer. Chicana Ways documents the rich diversity and brilliance of contemporary Mexican American writing and is essential reading for anyone interested in multicultural and feminist literature.
To attract readers, journalists have long trafficked in the causes of trauma--crime, violence, warfare--as well as psychological profiling of deviance and aberrational personalities. Novelists, in turn, have explored these same subjects in developing their characters and by borrowing from their own traumatic life stories to shape the themes and psychological terrain of their fiction. In this book, Doug Underwood offers a conceptual and historical framework for comprehending the impact of trauma and violence in the careers and the writings of important journalist-literary figures in the United States and British Isles from the early 1700s to today.
Grounded in the latest research in the fields of trauma studies, literary biography, and the history of journalism, this study draws upon the lively and sometimes breathtaking accounts of popular writers such as Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Graham Greene, and Truman Capote, exploring the role that trauma has played in shaping their literary works. Underwood notes that the influence of traumatic experience upon journalistic literature is being reshaped by a number of factors, including news media trends, the advance of the Internet, the changing nature of the journalism profession, the proliferation of psychoactive drugs, and journalists' greater self-awareness of the impact of trauma in their work.
The most extensive scholarly examination of the role that trauma has played in the shaping of our journalistic and literary heritage, Chronicling Trauma: Journalists and Writers on Violence and Loss discusses more than a hundred writers whose works have won them fame, even at the price of their health, their families, and their lives.
One of the premier writers of the Harlem Renaissance, Rudolph Fisher wrote short stories depicting the multifaceted black urban experience that are still acclaimed today for their humor, grace, and objective view of Harlem life. Through his words, wrote the New York Times Book Review, “one feels, smells, and tastes his Harlem; its people come alive and one cares about them.”
A definitive collection of Fisher’s short stories, TheCity of Refuge offers vibrant tales that deal with the problems faced by newcomers to the city, ancestor figures who struggle to instill a sense of integrity in the young, problems of violence and vengeance, and tensions of caste and class. This anthology has now been expanded to include seven previously unpublished stories that take up such themes as marital infidelity and passing for black and also relate the further adventures of Jinx and Bubber, the comic duo who appeared in Fisher’s two novels.
This new edition also includes two unpublished speeches and the popular article “The Caucasian Storms Harlem,” describing the craze for black music and dance. John McCluskey’s introduction has been updated to place the additional works within the context of Fisher’s career while situating his oeuvre within the broader context of American writing during the twenties.
Fisher recognized the dramatic and comic power in African American folklore and music and frequented Harlem’s many cabarets, speakeasies, and nightclubs, and at the core of his work is a strong regard for music as context and counterpoint. The City of Refuge now better captures the sounds of the city experience by presenting all of Fisher’s known stories. It offers a portrait of Harlem unmatched in depth and range by Fisher’s contemporaries or successors, celebrating, as Booklist noted, “the complexity of black urban life in its encounter with the dangers and delights of the city.” This expanded edition adds new perspectives to that experience and will enhance Fisher’s status for a new generation of readers.
Offering all of the extant letters exchanged by two of the twentieth century's most distinguished literary figures, Cleanth Brooks and Allen Tate: Collected Letters, 1933-1976 vividly depicts the remarkable relationship, both professional and personal, between Brooks and Tate over the course of their lifelong friendship.
An accomplished poet, critic, biographer, and teacher, Allen Tate had a powerful influence on the literary world of his era. Editor of the Fugitive and the Sewanee Review, Tate greatly affected the lives and careers of his fellow literati, including Cleanth Brooks. Esteemed coeditor of An Approach to Literature and Understanding Poetry, Brooks was one of the principal creators of the New Criticism. His Modern Poetry and the Tradition and The Well Wrought Urn, as well as his two-volume study of Faulkner, remain among the classics read by any serious student of literature. The correspondence between these two gentlemen-scholars, which began in the 1930s, extended over five decades and covered a vast amount of twentieth-century literary history.
In the more than 250 letters collected here, the reader will encounter their shared concerns for and responses to the work of their numerous friends and many prominent writers, including T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, and Robert Lowell. Their letters offer details about their own developing careers and also provide striking insight into the group dynamics of the Agrarians, the noteworthy community of southern writers who played so influential a role in the literature of modernism.
Brooks once said that Tate treated him like a younger brother, and despite great differences between their personalities and characters, these two figures each felt deep brotherly affection for the other. Whether they contain warm invitations for the one to visit the other, genteel or honest commentaries on their families and friends, or descriptions of the vast array of social, professional, and even political activities each experienced, the letters of Brooks and Tate clearly reveal the personalities of both men and the powerful ties of their strong camaraderie.
Invaluable to both students and teachers of literature, Cleanth Brooks and Allen Tate provides a substantial contribution to the study of twentieth-century American, and particularly southern, literary history.
In Coming through the Fire, prominent scholar and writer C. Eric Lincoln addresses the most important issue of our time with insights forged by a lifetime of confronting racial oppression in America. Born in a small rural town in northern Alabama, raised by his grandparents, Lincoln portrays in rich detail the nuances of racial conflict and control that characterized the community of Athens, personal experiences which would lead him to dedicate his life to illuminating issues of race and social identity. The contradictions and calamities of being black and poor in the United States become a purifying fire for his searing analyses of the contemporary meanings of race and color. Coming through the Fire, with its fiercely intelligent, passionate, and clear-eyed view of race and class conflict, makes a major contribution to understanding—and thereby healing—the terrible rift that has opened up in the heart of America. Lincoln explores the nature of biracial relationships, the issue of transracial adoption, violence—particularly black-on-black violence—the “endangered” black male, racism as power, the relationship between Blacks and Jews, our multicultural melting pot, and Minister Louis Farrakhan.Without sidestepping painful issues, or sacrificing a righteous anger, the author argues for “no-fault reconciliation,” for mutual recognition of the human endowment we share regardless of race, preparing us as a nation for the true multiculture tomorrow will demand. Readers familiar with Lincoln’s earlier groundbreaking work on the Black Muslims and on the black church will be eagerly awaiting the publication of Coming through the Fire. Others will simply find C. Eric Lincoln’s personal story and his exploration of survival and race in America to be absorbing and compelling reading.
With these words, written long before his Iowa Writers' Workshop became world famous, much imitated, and academically rich, Paul Engle captured the spirit behind his beloved workshop. Now, in this collection of essays by and about those writers who shared the energetic early years, Robert Dana presents a dynamic, informative tribute to Engle and his world.
The book's three sections mingle myth and history with style and grace and no small amount of humor. The beginning essays are given over to memories of Paul Engle in his heyday. The second group focuses particularly on those teachers—Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Kurt Vonnegut, for example—who made the workshop hum on a day-to-day basis. Finally, the third section is devoted to storytelling: tall tales, vignettes, surprises, sober and not-so-sober moments. Engle's own essay, "The Writer and the Place," describes his "simple, and yet how reckless" conviction that "the creative imagination in all of the arts is as important, as congenial, and as necessary, as the historical study of all the arts."
Today, of course, there are hundreds of writers' workshops, many of them founded and directed by graduates of the original Iowa workshop. But when Paul Engle arrived in Iowa there were exactly two. His indomitable nature and great persuasive powers, combined with his distinguished reputation as a poet, loomed large behind the enhancement of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. This volume of fine and witty essays reveals the enthusiasm and drive and sheer pleasure that went into Iowa's renowned workshop.
Confederate Bushwhacker is a microbiography set in the most important and pivotal year in the life of its subject. In 1885, Mark Twain was at the peak of his career as an author and a businessman, as his own publishing firm brought out not only the U.S. edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn but also the triumphantly successful Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant. Twenty years after the end of the Civil War, Twain finally tells the story of his past as a deserter from the losing side, while simultaneously befriending and publishing the general from the winning side. Coincidentally, the year also marks the beginning of Twain’s descent into misfortune, his transformation from a humorist into a pessimist and determinist. Interwoven throughout this portrait are the headlines and crises of 1885—black lynchings, Indian uprisings, anti-Chinese violence, labor unrest, and the death of Grant. The year was at once Twain’s annus mirabilis and the year of his undoing. The meticulous treatment of this single year by the esteemed biographer Jerome Loving enables him to look backward and forward to capture both Twain and the country at large in a time of crisis and transformation.
Peter Selgin was cursed/blessed with an unusual childhood. The son of Italian immigrants—his father an electronics inventor and a mother so good looking UPS drivers swerved off their routes to see her—Selgin spent his formative years scrambling among the hat factory ruins of a small Connecticut town, visiting doting—and dotty—relatives in the “old world,” watching mental giants clash at Mensa gatherings, enduring Pavlovian training sessions with a grandmother bent on “curing” his left-handedness, and competing savagely with his right-handed twin.
It’s no surprise, then, that Selgin went on from these peculiar beginnings to do . . . well, nearly everything. Confessions of a Left-Handed Man is a bold, unblushing journey down roads less traveled. Whether recounting his work driving a furniture delivery truck, his years as a caricaturist, his obsession with the Titanic that compelled him to complete seventy-five paintings of the ship(in sinking and nonsinking poses), or his daily life as a writer, from start to finish readers are treated to a vividly detailed, sometimes hilarious, often moving, but always memorable life.
In this modern-day picaresque, Selgin narrates an artist’s journey from unconventional roots through gritty experience to artistic achievement. With an elegant narrative voice that is, by turns, frank, witty, and acid-tongued, Selgin confronts his past while coming to terms with approaching middle age, reaching self-understanding tempered by reflection, regret, and a sharply self-deprecating sense of humor.
Harold K. Bush's Continuing Bonds with the Dead examines the profound transfiguration that the death of a child wrought on the literary work of nineteenth-century American writers. Taking as his subjects Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, and W. E. B. Du Bois, Bush demonstrates how the death of a child became the defining "before-and-after moment" in their lives as adults and as artists. In narrating their struggles, Bush maps the intense field of creative energy induced by reverberating waves of parental grief and the larger nineteenth-century culture of mortality and grieving.
Bush explores in detail how each of these five writers grappled with and were altered by the loss of a child. He writes, for example, with moving insights about how the famed author of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn found himself adrift on a river of grief when meningitis struck down his daughter, Susy. In his deeply learned exploration of Twain's subsequent work, Bush illuminates how Twain wrote to cope with Susy's death, to make sense of her persistent presence in his life, and possibly to redeem her loss. Passionate and personal, Bush's insightful prose traces the paths of personal transformation each of these emblematic American writers took in order to survive the spiritual trauma of loss.
The savage Civil War was America's shared "before and after moment," the pivot upon which the nation's future swung. Bush's account of these five writers' grief amplifies our understanding of America's evolving, national relationship to mourning from then to the present.
For almost twenty years, Ilan Stavans—described by the Washington Post as "Latin America’s liveliest and boldest critic and most innovative cultural enthusiast"—has interviewed path-breaking intellectuals and artists in a wide range of media. As host of the critically acclaimed PBS series La Plaza, he interviews guests on pressing issues that affect the Western Hemisphere today, asking hard-hitting questions on immigration, religion, bilingualism, race, and democracy. This book collects for the first time in one volume Stavans’s most provocative and enlightening interviews with Hispanics from both sides of the Rio Grande.
Spontaneous and surprising, these conversations reflect Latino life in the United States in all its facets. Among the more than two dozen selections, Edward James Olmos talks about Hispanics in Hollywood; John Leguizamo describes how he shapes a stage show; author Richard Rodriguez reflects on his gang background; Esmeralda Santiago takes on the Puerto Rican stereotype; and Piri Thomas shares thoughts on the writing of Down These Mean Streets. "A conversation is a tango," writes Stavans, "for it takes two to dance it." Conversations with Ilan Stavans invites readers to catch the rhythm and enjoy these unique meetings of minds.
When Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, Tony Hillerman’s oddly matched tribal police officers, patrol the mesas and canyons of their Navajo reservation, they join a rich traditon of Southwestern detectives. In Crime Fiction and Film in the Southwest, a group of literary critics tracks the mystery and crime novel from the Painted Desert to Death Valley and Salt Lake City. In addition, the book includes the first comprehensive bibliography of mysteries set in the Southwest and a chapter on Southwest film noir from Humphrey Bogart’s tough hood in The Petrified Forest to Russell Crowe’s hard-nosed cop in L.A. Confidential.