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The Cambridge Companion to John Updike

by Stacey Olster

John Updike is one of the most prolific and important American authors of the contemporary period, with an acclaimed body of work that spans half a century and is inspired by everything from American exceptionalism to American popular culture. This Companion joins together a distinguished international team of contributors to address both the major themes in Updike's writing as well as the sources of controversy that Updike's writing has often provoked. It traces the ways in which historical and cultural changes in the second half of the twentieth century have shaped not just Updike's reassessment of America's heritage, but his reassessment of the literary devices by which that legacy is best portrayed. With a chronology and bibliography of Updike's published writings, this is the only guide students and scholars of Updike will need to understand this extraordinary writer.

Cambridge Introductions to Literature: The Cambridge Introduction to Contemporary American Fiction

by Stacey Olster

The Cambridge Introduction to Contemporary American Fiction explores fiction written over the last thirty years in the context of the profound political, historical, and cultural changes that have distinguished the contemporary period. Focusing on both established and emerging writers - and with chapters devoted to the American historical novel, regional realism, the American political novel, the end of the Cold War and globalization, 9/11, borderlands and border identities, race, and the legacy of postmodern aesthetics - this Introduction locates contemporary American fiction at the intersection of a specific time and long-standing traditions. In the process, it investigates the entire concept of what constitutes an "American" author while exploring the vexed, yet resilient, nature of what the concept of home has come to signify in so much writing today. This wide-ranging study will be invaluable to students, instructors, and general readers alike.

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