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Discoveries: Fifty Stories of the Quest

by Harold Schechter Jonna Gormely Semeiks

Reflecting today's growing emphasis on multiculturalism, the second edition of this remarkably successful anthology supplements its offerings from the traditional literary canon with twelve additional contributions from the new generation of writers currently revitalizing the short story form, including Amy Tan, Bharati Mukherjee, Stephen Milhauser, Ellen Gilchrist, and Patrick McGrath. Organized around the successive stages of humanity's most durable myth, the hero's quest narrative pattern delineated by renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell, this edition offers a summary and explication of Campbell's analysis of the quest motif, a new biographical introduction to Campbell's life and work, and a section of concise, biographical entries on each of the fifty authors. As in the earlier edition, the quality and quantity of the selections assure instructors of complete freedom in presenting the stories in whatever order and structure they choose. For those who do wish to take advantage of the anthology's thematic organization, the editors provide questions for discussion and possible writing assignments that do not sacrifice the comprehensive diversity of the selections or their identity as distinctive works of literature open to various interpretations. A highly accessible introduction to the technical aspects of the close analysis of fiction, this text also offers a number of special features: two supplementary tables of contents, one organized by alternate themes, and one by the traditional elements of fiction; an introductory essay defining those technical elements and including a sample analysis of one of the stories in the anthology, and a glossary of critical terms. About the Editors: Harold Schechter is Professor of English at Queens College, the City University of New York. He is the author of numerous articles and over a dozen books. Jonna Gormely Serneiks is Associate Professor of English at Long Island University. She is the coeditor of Patterns in Popular Culture (1980) and American Voices (1988).

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