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The first thematic series published for American literature, THE WADSWORTH THEMES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE SERIES is currently comprised of 21 themes spanning the time period normally covered in the two-semester American literature survey course—1492 to the present. Each carefully edited booklet centers on a core issue of the period with attention given to the development of key themes. Each thematic booklet offers an introductory contextual essay, a variety of literary perspectives, headnotes and footnotes, along with a variety of visual elements. The series allows you to mix and match themes to best meet the unique needs of your course—choose one booklet to complement an anthology and provide particular emphasis on a specific time period or create a bundle of two or more booklets as an alternative to other course materials. Henry Hart is a contemporary poet, biographer, and critic with a broad range of work to his credit. He currently holds a chair in literature at the College of William and Mary. His themes are drawn from the postwar era, and he puts before readers a seductive range of work by poets, fiction writers, and essayists. Many of the themes from earlier volumes find their culmination here. Hart offers students a chance to think hard about the matter of ethnicity and race in contemporary America. He explores the role of class, gender, and sexuality in American society. In all, these thematic booklets by Hart are certain to challenge, entertain, and instruct.
- THE WADSWORTH THEMES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE SERIES strikes a teachable balance in choice of texts, offering an eclectic range of new works by classic authors as well as substantial examples of works by writers who for cultural or historical reasons have been ignored in the past.
- This thematic series emphasizes situating texts in their appropriate contexts as well as conveying the sense that these texts speak to those who went before them. THE WADSWORTH THEMES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE SERIES asks a provocative yet basic question that every citizen should consider: What is America? The poets, novelists, and essayists we have included in our thematic series were not shy about offering a response.
- High-quality illustrations place the selections in their historical contexts, making the literature more accessible to students.
- Each selection is succinctly introduced by the volume editor and accompanied by headnotes—containing only the most essential information about each period and author—written by a wide array of specialists in the field. The pedagogical apparatus (introductions, headnotes, and illustrations) gives students a clear view of the historical moment, so they can see how authors respond in different ways to contemporary issues of the time and to national obsessions as well as to how literature becomes, over time, a lively conversation among immensely articulate men and women.
Malcolm X (1925–1965).
The Ballot or the Bullet.
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917–2000).
To the Young Who Want to Die.
Rita Dove (b. 1952).
Sherman Alexie (b. 1966).
Because My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock.
Amy Tan (b. 1952).
Richard Rodriguez (b. 1944).
From Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood.
Ana Menéndez (b. 1970).
In Cuba I was a German Shepherd.