Catalogue


The Oxford companion to American literature /
James D. Hart ; with revisions and additions by Phillip W. Leininger.
edition
6th ed.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1995.
description
ix, 779 p.
ISBN
0195065484 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1995.
isbn
0195065484 (acid-free paper)
catalogue key
1350890
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-03:
It has been 12 years since publication of the fifth edition (CH, Apr'84) of this classic reference source. Hart died in 1990, and Leininger has updated and improved the work, adding 181 new entries (of which he wrote 104) and significantly revising several hundred more, "seeking the dynamic balance between past and contemporary literature that James Hart always sought to maintain." The sixth edition is smaller (779 p.) than the fifth (896 p.) due to a smaller but less legible typeface and the omission of entries for US presidents, US colleges, some plot summaries, and entries for individuals such as Alexander Campbell and Hiram Martin Crittenden. Judicious addition of entries reflects contemporary concern for broadening the American literary canon to include more women, minority, and lesbian and gay authors. For example, the fifth edition's entry "Blacks in the U.S." has been deleted, but entries have been added for many African American authors, e.g., Rita Mae Brown, Ed Bullins, Adrienne Kennedy, and Audre Lorde. Asian and Native American authors added include Amy Tan, John Okada, Louise Erdrich, Simon Ort'iz, and Leslie Silko. Other new entries for women include Sylvia Beach, Cynthia Ozick, Camille Paglia, and Grace Paley. Henry Roth, author of Call It Sleep, overlooked in previous editions, has finally been included, as has prominent gay writer Larry Kramer, author of Faggots (1978). Errors in the fifth edition have been corrected (e.g., the spelling of Diane Wakoski), but T. Coraghessan Boyle's novel Without a Hero is incorrectly cited as "Without a Here." This mistake aside, the sixth edition belongs in every academic and public library. E. J. Carpenter; Oberlin College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"In a word, grand: as indispensable to a serious reader, academic or otherwise, as a compass to an explorer.... Each entry is written with eminent fairness."--San Jose Mercury News
"'More' apparently does not always have to mean 'less' in this era of canon expansion; here more is just that, insuring this companion's continued preeminence in its field well into the century."--Nineteenth-Century Literature
"This compilation has been a reference mainstay since its inception in 1941.... The Oxford Companion to American Literature continues to be a significant reference source, and it now has the advantage of greater currency."--Booklist
"In a word, grand: as indispensable to a serious reader, academic or otherwise, as a compass to an explorer.... Each entry is written with eminent fairness."--San Jose Mercury News"This compilation has been a reference mainstay since its inception in 1941.... The Oxford Companion to American Literature continues to be a significant reference source, and it now has the advantage of greater currency."--Booklist"'More' apparently does not always have to mean 'less' in this era of canon expansion; here more is just that, insuring this companion's continued preeminence in its field well into the century."--Nineteenth-Century Literature
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist,
Choice, March 1996
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This is a classic guide to the myriad paths and byways of American literature. Nearly 200 entries include new literary talent, playwrights and theatre people, science fiction and popular authors.
Main Description
For more than half a century, James D. Hart's The Oxford Companion to American Literature has been an unparalleled guide to America's literary culture, providing one of the finest resources to this country's rich history of great writers. Now this acclaimed work has been completely revised andupdated to reflect current developments in the world of American letters. For the sixth edition, editors James D. Hart and Phillip Leininger have updated the Companion in light of what has happened in American literature since 1982. To this end, they have revised the entries on such established authors as Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, and Joyce Carol Oates, and they haveadded more than 180 new entries on novelists (T. Coraghessan Boyle, Tim O'Brien, Louise Erdrich, Don De Lillo), poets (Rita Dove, Weldon Kees), playwrights (Wendy Wasserstein, August Wilson), popular writers (Stephen King, Louis L'Amour), historians (James M. McPherson, David Herbert Donald, WilliamManchester), naturalists (Aldo Leopold, Edward Abbey), and literary critics (Camille Paglia, Richard Ellmann). In addition, the Companion boasts more women's, African-American, and ethnic voices, with new entries on such luminaries as Charlotte Perkins Gilman, M.F.K. Fisher, William Least Heat-Moon,Ursula Le Guin, and Oscar Hijuelos, among many others. These additions represent only some of the revisions for the new edition. Of course, the basic qualities of the Companion that readers have grown to know and love over the years are as superb as ever. With over 5,000 total entries, The Oxford Companion to American Literature reflects a dynamicbalance between past and contemporary literature, surveying virtually every aspect of our national literature, from the Pulitzer Prize to pulp fiction, and from Walt Whitman to William F. Buckley, Jr. There are over 2,000 biographical profiles of important American authors (with informationregarding their styles, subjects, and major works) and influential foreign writers as well as other figures who have been important in the nation's social and cultural history. There are more than 1,100 full summaries of important American novels, stories, essays, poems (with verse form noted),plays, biographies and autobiographies, tracts, narratives, and histories. The new edition provides historical background and astute commentary on literary schools and movements, literary awards, magazines, newspapers, and a wide variety of other matters directly related to writing in America.Finally, the book is thoroughly cross-referenced and features an extensive and fully updated index of literary and social history. Ranging from Captain John Smith to John Updike, and from Anne Bradstreet to Anne Rice, the sixth edition of The Oxford Companion to American Literature is up to date, accurate, and comprehensive, a delight for both the casual browser and the serious student.
Main Description
For more than half a century, James D. Hart's The Oxford Companion to American Literature has been an unparalleled guide to America's literary culture, providing one of the finest resources to this country's rich history of great writers. Now this acclaimed work has been completely revised and updated to reflect current developments in the world of American letters. For the sixth edition, editors James D. Hart and Phillip Leininger have updated the Companion in light of what has happened in American literature since 1982. To this end, they have revised the entries on such established authors as Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, and Joyce Carol Oates, and they have added more than 180 new entries on novelists (T. Coraghessan Boyle, Tim O'Brien, Louise Erdrich, Don De Lillo), poets (Rita Dove, Weldon Kees), playwrights (Wendy Wasserstein, August Wilson), popular writers (Stephen King, Louis L'Amour), historians (James M. McPherson, David Herbert Donald, William Manchester), naturalists (Aldo Leopold, Edward Abbey), and literary critics (Camille Paglia, Richard Ellmann). In addition, the Companion boasts more women's, African-American, and ethnic voices, with new entries on such luminaries as Charlotte Perkins Gilman, M.F.K. Fisher, William Least Heat-Moon, Ursula Le Guin, and Oscar Hijuelos, among many others. These additions represent only some of the revisions for the new edition. Of course, the basic qualities of the Companion that readers have grown to know and love over the years are as superb as ever. With over 5,000 total entries, The Oxford Companion to American Literature reflects a dynamic balance between past and contemporary literature, surveying virtually every aspect of our national literature, from the Pulitzer Prize to pulp fiction, and from Walt Whitman to William F. Buckley, Jr. There are over 2,000 biographical profiles of important American authors (with information regarding their styles, subjects, and major works) and influential foreign writers as well as other figures who have been important in the nation's social and cultural history. There are more than 1,100 full summaries of important American novels, stories, essays, poems (with verse form noted), plays, biographies and autobiographies, tracts, narratives, and histories. The new edition provides historical background and astute commentary on literary schools and movements, literary awards, magazines, newspapers, and a wide variety of other matters directly related to writing in America. Finally, the book is thoroughly cross-referenced and features an extensive and fully updated index of literary and social history. Ranging from Captain John Smith to John Updike, and from Anne Bradstreet to Anne Rice, the sixth edition of The Oxford Companion to American Literature is up to date, accurate, and comprehensive, a delight for both the casual browser and the serious student.
Main Description
For more than half a century, James D. Hart'sThe Oxford Companion to American Literaturehas been an unparalleled guide to America's literary culture, providing one of the finest resources to this country's rich history of great writers. Now this acclaimed work has been completely revised and updated to reflect current developments in the world of American letters. For the sixth edition, editors James D. Hart and Phillip Leininger have updated theCompanionin light of what has happened in American literature since 1982. To this end, they have revised the entries on such established authors as Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, and Joyce Carol Oates, and they have added more than 180 new entries on novelists (T. Coraghessan Boyle, Tim O'Brien, Louise Erdrich, Don De Lillo), poets (Rita Dove, Weldon Kees), playwrights (Wendy Wasserstein, August Wilson), popular writers (Stephen King, Louis L'Amour), historians (James M. McPherson, David Herbert Donald, William Manchester), naturalists (Aldo Leopold, Edward Abbey), and literary critics (Camille Paglia, Richard Ellmann). In addition, theCompanionboasts more women's, African-American, and ethnic voices, with new entries on such luminaries as Charlotte Perkins Gilman, M.F.K. Fisher, William Least Heat-Moon, Ursula Le Guin, and Oscar Hijuelos, among many others. These additions represent only some of the revisions for the new edition. Of course, the basic qualities of theCompanionthat readers have grown to know and love over the years are as superb as ever. With over 5,000 total entries,The Oxford Companion to American Literaturereflects a dynamic balance between past and contemporary literature, surveying virtually every aspect of our national literature, from the Pulitzer Prize to pulp fiction, and from Walt Whitman to William F. Buckley, Jr. There are over 2,000 biographical profiles of important American authors (with information regarding their styles, subjects, and major works) and influential foreign writers as well as other figures who have been important in the nation's social and cultural history. There are more than 1,100 full summaries of important American novels, stories, essays, poems (with verse form noted), plays, biographies and autobiographies, tracts, narratives, and histories. The new edition provides historical background and astute commentary on literary schools and movements, literary awards, magazines, newspapers, and a wide variety of other matters directly related to writing in America. Finally, the book is thoroughly cross-referenced and features an extensive and fully updated index of literary and social history. Ranging from Captain John Smith to John Updike, and from Anne Bradstreet to Anne Rice, the sixth edition ofThe Oxford Companion to American Literatureis up to date, accurate, and comprehensive, a delight for both the casual browser and the serious student.

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