First published in 2004, A History of American Literature is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed surveys of American literature from pre-Columbian times to the present available today. This widely anticipated second edition features a wealth of fresh updates and new material, including a detailed survey of the fiction, drama, and poetry written in response to 9/11 and the "war on terror." Other additions include coverage of the cultural consequences of the new era in American politics ushered in by the election of President Obama, and the development of new literary and cultural movements such as the New Formalists. Written in an informed and approachable style by Richard Gray, one of the leading authorities in the field, this survey helps the reader develop a deeper understanding of and insight into the immense breadth of American literary traditions within the context of American social and cultural history. While focusing on the full range of fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction that has been incorporated into the mainstream literary canon, Gray also considers popular American literary traditions such as oral literature, folktales, spirituals, Westerns, detective stories, thrillers, and science fiction. Compelling and authoritative, A History of American Literature, Second Edition, continues its tradition of representing an unparalleled introduction to the full breadth and diversity of the American literary tradition.
"Richard Gray s real achievement is somehow to have compressed more than 400 years of thrillingly rich literary history between two covers." ( Literary Review )
Richard Gray is Professor of Literature at the University of Essex and former Distinguished Visiting Professor at a number of universities in the United States. He is the first specialist in American literature to be elected a Fellow of the British Academy and has published over a dozen books on the topic, including the award-winning Writing the South: Ideas of an American Region (1986) and The Life of William Faulkner: A Critical Biography (1994). His History of American Literature (Blackwell, 2004) is widely considered to be one of the standard works on the subject.