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Writing America: Literary Landmarks from Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (A Reader's Companion)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  24 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Winner of the John S. Tuckey 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award for Mark Twain Scholarship from The Center for Mark Twain Studies

American novelist E.L. Doctorow once observed that literature “endows places with meaning.” Yet, as this wide-ranging new book vividly illustrates, understanding the places that shaped American writers’ lives and their art can provide deep insight
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 11th 2015 by Rutgers University Press
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Mandy
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In this wide-ranging and well researched study of American authors and their relationship with the places they live and work in and which have influenced them, the author presents the reader with a fascinating and illuminating guide to literary sites in the US. Writers from Sinclair Lewis to Erica Jong, Walt Whitman to William Faulkner and many many more are included, making this an essential volume to carry around when travelling in the United States. A book to savour and refer to again and aga ...more
Sam Sattler
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Having recently spent a week exploring some of the literary landmarks of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, I was intrigued by Shelley Fisher Fishkin’s Writing America as soon as I heard about its scheduled publication. The book’s subtitle, Literary Landmarks from Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (A Reader’s Companion), led me to believe that it would serve as a good planning tool for more trips of a similar nature to the one I had just completed. As it turns out, I was right.

As Fishkin puts it in
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John Benson
Jul 30, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a very ambitious book that tries to look at places that influenced different American authors while giving us a flavor of their writing. Fishkin brings out a wide variety of places and ethnic groups and different authors but I found the chapters somewhat jarring. Each chapter seems to jump from history to a description of the place to different authors from that place and then examples of their writing and then on to another author. It seemed like a hodgepodge of ideas thrown at me and l ...more
Margaret
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a wonderfully researched volume on American writers and their roots. She criss crosses the country and timelines. So many interesting unearthed facts about authors we thought we knew. Not a quick read but a worthwhile one.
Laura
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was not a book to read word for word, but to read the parts of interest to you. It was well researched and written, with photos. I liked learning about the places in books and their authors.
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Shelley Fisher Fishkin is a Professor of English, Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities, and Director of American Studies at Stanford University. She is the author, editor or co-editor of over forty books and has published over eighty articles, essays and reviews. Issues of gender figure prominently in her most recent monograph, Feminist Engagements: Forays into American Literature and Culture (P ...more
More about Shelley Fisher Fishkin

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