Catalogue

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Biographical companion to literature in English /
Antony Kamm.
imprint
Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 1997.
description
x, 614 p.
ISBN
0810833190 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
added author
imprint
Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 1997.
isbn
0810833190 (alk. paper)
general note
Rev. and updated ed. of: Collins biographical dictionary of English literature. c1993.
Rev. and updated version of: Collin's biographical dictionary of English literature, 1993.
local note
AZD-5969
catalogue key
1473508
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-03-01:
A revision of Kamm's Collins Biographical Dictionary of English Literature (1993), this book is intended for general readers in the US. The British author, a freelance editor and writer, has published other references and children's books. He provides "brief outlines of the lives and principal literary achievements" of 1,544 authors, nearly half from the UK. Included are "a representative selection of authors who have made a significant contribution to literature in English or to their national literature or both," as well as non-English-language authors whose works are widely read in English. The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English, ed. by Alan Ousby (CH, Jul'94), covers the same biographical territory (except for non-English authors); includes illustrations; covers works, themes, and genres; and includes important authors omitted from Kamm, e.g., African-American writers Nikki Giovanni, Lorraine Hansberry, and Ishmael Reed, as well as John Gardner, William Gass, Kenneth Rexroth, and Charles Reznikoff. The popular tone and content and the author's lack of scholarly credentials make this book unsuitable for academic libraries. Recommended instead are The Cambridge Guide previously mentioned and, for the modern period, The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English, ed. by Jenny Stringer (CH, Apr'97). For authors translated into English consult the H.W. Wilson authors series. E. J. Carpenter Oberlin College
Reviews
Review Quotes
...a reference work that is at once extremely useful and enjoyable to read.
Literary biographies in reference collections are as thick as fallen leaves in late autumn. Nevertheless, in recognition of their ability to capture the essence of their subjects' lives and work, Kamm's biographies despite their brevity, merit inclusion among even the most extensive collections of literary biography.
...substantive information, yet...usable as a quick reference source and can be easily scanned for key facts...a solidly balanced work...well-chosen literary representatives.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 1998
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
Long Description
This first U.S. editon of Collins Biographical Dictionary of English Literature (1993) was prepared with the the general reader in mind and students of literature of all ages. The lives and principal literary achievements of over 1500 writers are outlined in brief essays that emphasize the links between the life and art of each writer. Authors of works in other languages are included if they are widely read in English or have influenced the development of literature in English. Kamm also pays special attention to black, Jewish, and women's writing. Kamm takes into account the contributions of individual authors to the development of national literatures and cultural traditions. He covers novelists in numerous genres, from Petronius to Bellow, Stephen King to Vargas Llosa; short story writers from Hawthorne and Henry James to Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro and Eudora Welty; poets from Homer, Virgil, and Petrarch, to Heaney, Denise Levertov, and Walcott; dramatists from Sophocles to Shepard; diarists from Pepys to Anne Frank; as well as travelers, historians, biographers, critics, philosophers, clerics, religious reformers, and children's writers. The many suggestions for further reading have been chosen for their accessibility. The latest edition is listed for each, together with comprehensive bibliographical details, including subtitle and full name of translator and editors where appropriate.
Main Description
The lives and principal literary achievements of over 1500 writers are outlined in brief essays that emphasize the links between the life and art of each writer.

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