It is fully annotated for undergraduate readers.
"Backgrounds and Contexts" includes a rich selection of materials, some previously unavailable, for the study of contemporary psychological, social, and economic issues, as well as Wharton's private correspondence and writings and biographical accounts of the author.
Arranged under two headings, "Criticism" reveals Ethan Frome's impact as both a literary work and a social commentary. "Contemporary Reviews" consists of eight prominent assessments of Ethan Frome, including reviews from the New York Times Book Review, Outlook, The Nation, the Saturday Review, and those penned by Frederic Taber Cooper and Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant, among others. "Modern Criticism" (1956-1991) includes seven interpretations of the novella by Lionel Trilling, Elizabeth Ammons, Judith Fryer, Jean Frantz Blackall, Lev Raphael, Candace Waid, and Cynthia Griffin Wolff.
A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography are also included.
Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer and designer Edith Wharton (1862-1937) is the author of The House of Mirth, The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, The Decoration of Houses, and many other books. Kristin O. Lauer is Associate Professor of English at Fordham University. Her publications include Edith Wharton: The Contemporary Reviews (with James Tuttleton and Margaret P. Murray) and Edith Wharton: An Annotated Secondary Bibliography (with Margaret P. Murray). Her psychological study, Gallery of the Damned: The Inner World of Edith Wharton's Women, is forthcoming. She has published psychological essays on George Eliot, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. Cynthia Griffin Wolff is Class of 1922 Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the author of A Feast of Words: The Triumph of Edith Wharton, Emily Dickinson, and Samuel Richardson and the Eighteenth-Century Puritan Character. She has edited many literary works, including Short Fiction of Major American Women Writers: Jewett, Chopin, Wharton, and Cather; Four Works by American Women Writers; and Edith Wharton's Summer, The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, and The Touchstone. Her essays and articles have appeared in many journals in the United States and Canada.