Blake Allmendinger's A History of California Literature surveys the paradoxical image of the Golden State as a site of dreams and disenchantment, formidable beginnings and ruinous ends. This history encompasses the prismatic nature of California by exploring a variety of historical periods, literary genres, and cultural movements affecting the state's development, from the colonial era to the twenty-first century. Written by a host of leading historians and literary critics, this book offers readers insight into the tensions and contradictions that have shaped the literary landscape of California and also American literature generally.
Blake Allmendinger is Professor of American Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he specializes in literature of the American West. He is the author of The Cowboy: Representations of Labor in an American Work Culture; Ten Most Wanted: The New Western Literature; Imagining the African American West; and The Melon Capital of the World: A Memoir. He is also co-editor of Over the Edge: Remapping the American West, and has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
1. Tales of native California Paul Apodaca; 2. Indigenous peoples under colonial rule Lisbeth Haas; 3. Spanish and Mexican literature Vincent Perez; 4. White explorers and travelers David Wyatt; 5. The gold rush Nicolas Witschi; 6. California nature writers Steven Pavlos Holmes; 7. The black frontier Aparajita Nanda; 8. California as political topography: Asian American literature before 1980 Catherine Fung; 9. Mexican American literature Manuel M. Martin-Rodriguez; 10. The protest fiction of Frank Norris, Upton Sinclair, Jack London, and John Steinbeck Susan Shillingsaw; 11. Dreams, denial, and Depression-era fiction Jan Goggans; 12. Modernism in the early twentieth century Geneva Gano; 13. The hard-boiled California novel William Marling; 14. Writing the hidden California Phillip Round; 15. The Beats Kurt Hemmer; 16. Bay area politics, 1944-81 Kaplan Page Harris; 17. Los Angeles poetry from the McCarthy to the punk eras Brian Kim Stefans; 18. African American uprising Charles Toombs; 19. Of carnales and coyotes: Chicana/o literature of California Anne Goldman; 20. Interracial relations: face and place in post-1980 Asian American literature King-Kok Cheung; 21. California and the queer utopian imagination: 1981-2014 Cael Keegan; 22. Modern California nature writing Michael Kowalewski; 23. Making California's small towns and cities visible in the twenty-first century Nancy Cook; 24. Science fiction and mysterious worlds Lynn Mie Itagaki.