Carl Rollyson - Psychological Novelists
Published: 2012-03 | ISBN: 1429836822 | PDF | 280 pages | 3 MB
Reproducing selections from its massive 10-volume Critical Survey of Literature, 4th ed. (2010), Salem has repackaged them into 24 paperbacks on various themes. Each volume features an introductory essay and approximately 22 entries on individual writers. Entries open with a brief discussion of "other literary forms" the author employed, followed by a discussion of "achievements," and then a one to two-page biography. The main body of each entry consists of an analysis of the author's major works that is compellingly written and could easily be employed as a booktalk to introduce readers to a new work. However, the problems that plagued the original set remain. There is an uncomfortable quirkiness to the selection of authors covered. For instance, in Feminist Themes, there is no mention of Toni Morrison, a writer not only of importance as an African American, but also as a novelist who plumbs the depths of the female psyche and women's roles in society. The absence of an entry on Shirley Jackson or Stephen King in Gothic Novelists is similarly odd. Though the books make for delightful browsing, and at times illuminating introductions to some of literature's more important figures, they will be of little use to students in search of academic sources for a research paper.
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