This comprehensive history of American Literature traces its development from the earliest colonial writings of the late 1500s through to the present day. This lively, engaging and highly accessible guide:
offers lucid discussions of all major influences and movements such as Puritanism, Transcendentalism, Realism, Naturalism, Modernism and Postmodernism
draws on the historical, cultural, and political contexts of key literary texts and authors
covers the whole range of American literature: prose, poetry, theatre and experimental literature
includes substantial sections on native and ethnic American literatures
explains and contextualises major events, terms and figures in American history.
This book is essential reading for anyone seeking to situate their reading of American Literature in the appropriate religious, cultural, and political contexts.
Hans Bertens is Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Utrecht University and has published mostly on American literature, postmodernism, and literary theory. Theo D'haen is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) and has published primarily on American literature, postmodernism, postcolonialism and world literature.
1 The English Colonies in America: 1607-1750, 2 The Colonies and the New Republic 1750-1837, 3 The Flowering of New England: 1837-1861, 4 Realism and Naturalism: 1865-1918, 5 Modern Prose 1918-1950, 6 Modern Poetry 1900-1950, 7 Realism and Realist Experimentalism: 1950-1980, 8 Ethnic literature before 1980, 9 Postmodernism, 10 Poetry after 1945, 11 The Theatre in America, 12 Multiculturalism after 1980, 13 Prose after Postmodernism