On the heels of the Great Depression and staring into the abyss of a global war, American writers took fiction and literature in a new direction that addressed the chaos that the nation-and the world-was facing. These authors spoke to the human condition in traumatic times, and their works reflected the dreams, aspirations, values, and hopes of people living in the World War II era.
In From Native Son to King's Men: The Literary Landscape of 1940s America, Robert McParland examines notable works published throughout the decade. Among the authors covered are James Baldwin, Pearl S. Buck, James Gould Cozzens, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, John Hersey, Norman Mailer, Ann Petry, Irwin Shaw, John Steinbeck, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, and Richard Wright. McParland explores how popular novels, literary fiction, and even short stories by these authors represented this pivotal period in American culture.
By examining the creative output of these authors, this book reveals how the literature of the 1940s not only offered a pathway for that era's readers but also provides a way of understanding the past and our own times. From Native Son to King's Men will appeal to anyone interested in the cultural climate of the 1940s and how this period was depicted in American literature.