Based upon the author’s lifetime practices as a dancer, poet and teacher, this innovative approach to developing body awareness focuses on achieving self-discovery and well-being through movement, mindfulness and writing. Written from a holistic (rather than dualistic) view of the mind-body problem, discussion and exercises draw on dance, psychology, neuroscience and meditation to guide personal exploration and creative expression.
Blood on the Table: Essays on Food in International Crime Fiction
Edited by Jean Anderson, Carolina Miranda and Barbara Pezzotti
Written from a multicultural and interdisciplinary perspective, this collection of new essays explores the semiotics of food in the 20th and 21st century crime fiction of authors such as Anthony Bourdain, Arthur Upfield, Sara Paretsky, Andrea Camilleri, Fred Vargas, Ruth Rendell, Stieg Larsson, Leonardo Padura, Georges Simenon, Paco Ignacio Talbo II, and Donna Leon. The collection covers a range of issues, such as the provision of intra-, per- or paratextual recipes, the aesthetics and ethics of food, eating rituals as indications of cultural belonging and regional, national and supranational, and eating disorders and other seemingly abnormal habits as signs of “otherness.” Also mentioned are the television productions of the Inspector Montalbano series (1999–ongoing), the Danish-Swedish Bron/Broen (2011[The Bridge]), and its remakes The Tunnel (2013, France/UK) and The Bridge (2013, USA).
Perilous Escapades: Dimensions of Popular Adventure Fiction
Adventure fiction is one of the easiest narrative forms to recognize but one of the hardest to define because of its overlap with many other genres. This collection of essays attempts to characterize adventure fiction through the exploration of key elements—such as larger-than-life characters and imperialistic ideas—in the genre’s 19th- and 20th-century British and American works like The Scarlet Pimpernel by Orczy and Captain Blood by Sabatini. The author explores the cultural and literary impact of such works, presenting forgotten classics in a new light.
Under the threat of climate change, corruption, inequality and injustice, Americans may feel they are living in a dystopian novel come to life. Like many American narratives, dystopian stories often focus on males as the agents of social change.
With a focus on the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality and power, the author analyzes the themes, issues and characters in young adult (YA) dystopian fiction featuring female protagonists—the Girls on Fire who inspire progressive transformation for the future.
A huge amount was published about chess in the United Kingdom before the First World War. The growing popularity of chess in Victorian Britain was reflected in an increasingly competitive market of books and periodicals aimed at players from beginner to expert. The author combines new information about the early history of the game with advice for researchers into chess history and traces the further development of chess literature well into the 20th century.
Topics include today’s leading chess libraries and the use of digitized chess texts and research on the Web. Special attention is given to the columns that appeared in newspapers (national and provincial) and magazines from 1813 onwards. These articles, usually weekly, provide a wealth of information on early chess, much of which is not to be found elsewhere. The lengthy first appendix, an A to Z of almost 600 chess columns, constitutes a detailed research aid. Other appendices include corrections and supplements to standard works of reference on chess.
The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction: Essays on Power, Consent and the Body
Edited by Ashton Spacey
Like other forms of fan fiction, slash fiction—centered on same-sex relationships between two or more characters—is a powerful cultural dialogue. Though the genre can be socially transformative, particularly as an active feminist resistance to patriarchal ideologies, it is complex and continually evolving.
This collection of new essays covers topics on real, “fringe” bodies and identities; the inscription and transgression of bodily boundaries; and the exploration of power, autonomy and personal agency. Considering the darker side of the genre, these essays discuss how systems of authority are both challenged and reiterated by the erotic imagination, and how the voices of marginalized groups are both raised and ignored within slash fiction and fan communities.
Text & Presentation, 2017
Edited by Jay Malarcher
Presenting some of the best work from the 2017 Comparative Drama Conference at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, this collection highlights the latest research in comparative drama, performance and dramatic textual analysis. Contributors cover a broad range of topics, from the “practical ethnography” of directing foreign language productions to writing for theoretical stages to the “radical deaf theater” of Aaron Sawyer’s The Vineyard. A full transcript of the keynote conversation with American playwright and screenwriter Lisa Loomer is included.
Themes in Dickens: Seven Recurring Concerns in the Writings
Peter J. Ponzio
The Victorian age is often portrayed as an era of repressive social mores. Yet this simplified view ignores the context of Great Britain’s profound shift, through rapid industrialization, from rural to metropolitan life during this time.
Throughout his career, Charles Dickens addressed the numerous changes occurring in Victorian society. His portrayals of organized religion, class distinction, worker’s rights, prison reform and rampant poverty resonated with readers experiencing social upheaval. Focusing on his novels, nonfiction writing, speeches and personal correspondence, this book explores Dickens’s use of these themes as both literary devices and as a means to effect social progress.
James Joyce: A Literary Companion
James F. Broderick
Though he published just a handful of major works in his lifetime, James Joyce (1882–1941) continues to fascinate readers around the world and remains one of the most important literary figures of the 20th century. The complexity of Joyce’s style has attracted—and occasionally puzzled—generations of readers who have succumbed to the richness of his literary world.
This literary companion guides readers through his four major works—Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake—with chapter-by-chapter discussions and critical inquiry. An A to Z format covers the works, people, history and context that influenced his writing. Appendices summarize notable Joycean literary criticism and biography, and also discuss significant films based on his work.
Ajax, the archetypal Greek warrior, has over the years been trivialized as a peripheral character in the classics through Hollywood representations, and by the use of his name on household cleaning products. Examining a broad range of sources—from film, art and literature to advertising and sports—this study of the “Bulwark of the Achaeans” and his mythological image redefines his presence in Western culture, revealing him as the predominant voice in The Iliad and in myriad works across the classical canon.
The Collected Sonnets of William Shakespeare, Zombie
William Shakespeare and Chase Pielak
What if one of literature’s greatest poets was actually a zombie, writing in an Elizabethan world teeming with the undead hiding in plain sight? Inviting readers to see the sublime in the looming apocalypse, this book presents all 154 Shakespearean sonnets (with minor alterations transfigured into “zonnets”) in their horrifying glory, highlighting transcendent themes of love, death, beauty and feasting on the flesh of the living. Each sonnet portrays a zombie encounter, with accompanying vignettes revealing the struggles of undead life in early modern England. Original illustrations by Anna Pagnucci bring the nightmare to life. Shakespeare will never be the same.
Library World Records, 3d ed.
“Simply fun to browse…a tremendous resource for researchers and authors wishing to incorporate library facts and statistics into their work…recommended.”—Choice
The Morals of Monster Stories: Essays on Children’s Picture Book Messages
Edited by Leslie Ormandy
“A valuable resource for future analysis…recommended.”—Choice
Chivalry in Westeros: The Knightly Code of A Song of Ice and Fire
Carol Parrish Jamison
George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has sparked a renewed interest in things medieval. The pseudo-historical world of Westeros delights casual fans while offering a rich new perspective for medievalists and scholars.
This study explores how Martin crafts a chivalric code that intersects with and illuminates well known medieval texts, including both romance and heroic epics.
Through characters such as Brienne of Tarth, Sandor Clegane and Jaime Lannister, Martin variously challenges, upholds and deconstructs chivalry as depicted in the literature of the Middle Ages.
Egyptomania Goes to the Movies: From Archaeology to Popular Craze to Hollywood Fantasy
“Informative and fun…provides much interesting detail…recommended.”
Player and Avatar: The Affective Potential of Videogames
“An engaging book…approachable, topical, and well sourced…recommended”
P.D. James: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction
Laurel A. Young
H.P. Lovecraft: Selected Works, Critical Perspectives and Interviews on His Influence
H.P. Lovecraft Edited by Leverett Butts
“This collection is highly recommended both for those looking to engage with Lovecraft’s work in the classroom and for readers new to Lovecraft and looking for a broad sampling of his work.”—Booklist
Harry Potter and Convergence Culture: Essays on Fandom and the Expanding Potterverse
Edited by Amanda Firestone and Leisa A. Clark
Since the 1997 publication of the first Harry Potter novel, the “Potterverse” has seen the addition of eight feature films (with a ninth in production), the creation of the interactive Pottermore© website, the release of myriad video games, the construction of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, several companion books (such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), critical essays and analyses, and the 2016 debut of the original stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
This collection of new essays interprets the Wizarding World beyond the books and films through the lens of convergence culture. Contributors explore how online communities tackle Sorting and games like the Quidditch Cup and the Triwizard Tournament, and analyze how Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are changing fandom and the canon alike.
Janet Frame in Focus: Women Analyze the Works of the New Zealand Writer
Edited by Josephine A. McQuail
New Zealand author Janet Frame (1924-2004) during her lifetime published 11 novels, three collections of short stories, a volume of poetry and a children’s book.
The details of her life–her tragic early years, her confinement in a psychiatric hospital and her miraculous reprieve–overshadow her work and she remains largely neglected by scholars.
These essays focus on Frame’s autobiography, short stories and novels. Contributors from around the world explore a range of topics, including her mother’s Christadelphian faith, her relationships with two 20th century icons (William Theophilus Brown and John Money), and a view of Frame in the context of trauma studies. Two of the essays were presented at the 2014 Northeast Modern Language Association convention.
A Dark California: Essays on Dystopian Depictions in Popular Culture
Edited by Katarzyna Nowak-McNeice and Agata Zarzycka
Focusing on portrayals of California in popular culture, this collection of new essays traces a central theme of darkness through literature (Toby Barlow, Angela Carter, Joan Didion, Thomas Pynchon, and Claire Vaye Watkins), video games (L.A. Noire), music (Death Grips, Lana Del Rey, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers), TV (True Detective and American Horror Story), and film (Starry Eyes, Southland Tales and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night).
Providing insight into the significance of Californian icons, the contributors explore the interplay between positive stereotypes connected to the myth of the Golden State and ambivalent responses to the myth based on social and political power, the consequences of consumerism, transformations of the landscape and the dominance of hyperreality.
Our Spring 2018 New Books catalog is now available—click to see what our authors have in store for the new year!
Another Me: The Doppelganger in 21st Century Fiction, Television and Film
Heather Duerre Humann
A figure from ancient folklore, the doppelgänger—in fiction a character’s sinister look-alike—continues to reemerge in literature, television and film. The modern-day doppelganger (“double-goer” in German) is typically depicted in a traditional form adapted to reflect present-day social anxieties. Focusing on a broad range of narratives, the author explores 21st century representations in novels (Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry, José Saramago’s The Double), TV shows (Orphan Black, Battlestar Galactica, Ringer) and movies (The Island, The Prestige, Oblivion).
The January issue of Choice features four recommended McFarland titles!
Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What He Actually Did and Said
Richard M. Langworth
“Langworth fires a stunning barrage in the long-running battle over Churchill’s reputation…effectively demolishes many core myths…a required addition to any collection on Churchill…essential.”
The Lost Colony of Roanoke: New Perspectives
“Persuasively written, coherent, and in-depth…fresh and well thought out…a fascinating account…well-researched…recommended.”
Science Is Not What You Think: How It Has Changed, Why We Can’t Trust It, How It Can Be Fixed
Henry H. Bauer
For the Gay Stage: A Guide to 456 Plays, Aristophanes to Peter Gill
Drewey Wayne Gunn
“Comprehensive…recommended for all theater and gay studies collections.”
New on our bookshelf today:
Living in a reed hut on Taveuni—the “garden isle” of Fiji—the author studied the native language and carefully observed their traditions until he was accepted as a (somewhat unusual) member of the village.
Despite five cyclones the summer of 1985, daily life was idyllic. Cannibalism has been abandoned, reluctantly, at the behest of the new Christian God. But the old religion survived beneath the facade and priests danced naked on the beach beneath the full moon. The village pulsated with factions and feuds, resolved by the stern but benevolent chief, whose word was law. Legends told of a princess born as a bird, who was killed and thus became a comely maiden—but the murderer had to be cooked and eaten.
New on our bookshelf today:
Writers and alcohol have long been associated—for some, the association becomes unmanageable. Drawing on rare sources, this collection of brief biographies traces the lives of 13 well known literary drinkers, examining how their relationship with alcohol developed and how it affected their work, for better or worse.
Focusing on examples like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Charles Bukowski and Raymond Carver, the combined biographies present a study of the classic figure of the over-indulging author.
New on our bookshelf today:
Freedom Narratives of African American Women: A Study of 19th Century Writings
Janaka Bowman Lewis
Stories of liberation from enslavement or oppression have become central to African American women’s literature. Beginning with a discussion of black women freedom narratives as a literary genre, the author argues that these texts represent a discourse on civil rights that emerged earlier than the ideas of racial uplift that culminated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An examination of the collective free identity of black women and their relationships to the community focuses on education, individual progress, marriage and family, labor, intellectual commitments and community rebuilding projects.
New on our bookshelf today:
Beginning with the structural features of design and play, this book explores video games as both compelling examples of story-telling and important cultural artifacts.
The author analyzes fundamentals like immersion, world building and player agency and their role in crafting narratives in the Mass Effect series, BioShock, The Last of Us, Fallout 4 and many more. The text-focused “visual novel” genre is discussed as a form of interactive fiction.
James Lee Burke: A Literary Companion
Laurence W. Mazzeno
James Lee Burke is an acclaimed writer of crime novels in which protagonists battle low-life thugs who commit violent crimes and corporate executives who exploit the powerless. He is best known for his Dave Robicheaux series, set in New Orleans and the surrounding bayou country. With characters inspired by his own family, Burke uses the mystery genre to explore the nature of evil and an individual’s responsibility to friends, family and society at large.
This companion to his works provides a commentary on all of the characters, settings, events and themes in his novels and short stories, along with a critical discussion of his writing style, technique and literary devices. Glossaries describe the people and places and define unfamiliar terms. Selected interviews provide background information on both the writer and his stories.
Radio Drama and Comedy Writers, 1928–1962
More than 700 uncredited scriptwriters who created the memorable characters and thrilling stories of radio’s Golden Age receive due recognition in this reference work. For some, radio was a stepping stone on the way to greater achievements in film or television, on the stage or in literature. For others, it was the culmination of a life spent writing newspaper copy. Established authors dabbled in radio as a new medium, while working writers saw it as another opportunity to earn a paycheck. When these men and women came to broadcasting, they crafted a body of work still appreciated by modern listeners.
The American writer—both real and fictitious, famous and obscure—has traditionally been situated on the margins of society, an outsider looking in. From The Great Gatsby’s Nick Carraway to the millions of bloggers today, writers are generally seen as onlookers documenting the human condition. Yet their own collective story has largely gone untold.
Tracing the role of the writer in the United States over the last century, this book describes how those who use language as a creative medium have held a special place in our collective imagination.
Check out our new catalog of true crime and mystery books—and don’t forget to save 30% on your order of two or more books with the coupon code HOLIDAY17!
This critical study traces the common origins of film noir and science fiction films, identifying the many instances in which the two have merged to form a distinctive subgenre known as Tech-Noir. From the German Expressionist cinema of the late 1920s to the present-day cyberpunk movement, the book examines more than 100 films in which the common noir elements of crime, mystery, surrealism, and human perversity intersect with the high technology of science fiction. The author also details the hybrid subgenre’s considerable influences on contemporary music, fashion, and culture.
The December issue of Choice features reviews of four new McFarland books!
Major General Israel Putnam: Hero of the American Revolution
Robert Ernest Hubbard
“This masterfully researched account is a solid contribution to American Revolutionary historiography as well as to the histories of Connecticut, New England, and the French and Indian War…highly recommended.”
Joseph Brown and His Civil War Ironclads: The USS Chillicothe, Indianola and Tuscumbia
Myron J. Smith, Jr.
“Excellent…thorough…a plethora of maps, illustrations, and charts…recommended.”
LGBTQ Young Adult Fiction: A Critical Survey, 1970s–2010s
Caren J. Town
“Important…deftly balances several elements to serve a variety of readers…recommended.”
The Culture and Ethnicity of Nineteenth Century Baseball
Jerrold I. Casway
“Excellent…This scholarly, informative, yet easy-to-read volume includes an excellent bibliography and will be a fine addition to academic library collections…recommended.”
Henry Green: Havoc in the House of Fiction
By mid-career, many successful writers have found a groove and their readers come to expect a familiar consistency and fidelity. Not so with Henry Green (1905–1973). He prefers uncertainty over reason and fragmentation over cohesion, and rarely lets the reader settle into a nice cozy read. Evil, he suggests, can be as instructive as good. Through Green’s use of paradoxical and ambiguous language, his novels bring texture to the flatness of life, making the world seem bigger and closer. We soon stop worrying about what Hitler’s bombs have in store for the Londoners of Caught (1943) and Back (1946) and start thinking about what they have in store for each other. Praised in his lifetime as England’s top fiction author, Green is largely overlooked today. This book presents a comprehensive analysis of his work for a new generation of readers.
As technology advances, society retains its mythical roots—a tendency evident in rock music and its enduring relationship with myth and science fiction. This study explores the mythical and fantastic themes of artists from the late 1960s to the mid–1980s, including David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, Blue Öyster Cult, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Drawing on insights from Joseph Campbell, J.G. Frazer, Carl Jung and Mircea Eliade, the author examines how performers have incorporated mythic archetypes and science fiction imagery into songs that illustrate societal concerns and futuristic fantasies.
It’s our biggest sale of the year! Through the holiday season, get 30% off your order of two or more books with the coupon code HOLIDAY17! Need inspiration? Check out our brand new holiday catalog!
HOLIDAY17 is valid through January 2, 2018, and applies to any book on McFarland’s website. Browse our entire online catalog here.
Sherwood Anderson’s Pan-American Vision: Letters in Pursuit of a Cross-Cultural Bond
Edited and with Commentary by Celia Catalina Esplugas
Based on an analysis of Sherwood Anderson’s letters, this study explores the novelist’s principal inspiration during his final years (1938–1941): his exposure to Latin America.
Thematically arranged correspondence traces his positive reception in South America—a place he saw as a source of fresh ideas and publishing opportunities—his desire to promote cultural relations between the two Americas, and his legacy among Spanish-speaking readers. The author discusses the political and economic climates of mid–20th century South American nations, their emerging liberal ideologies and the concerns Latin American readers had regarding societal upheaval, urbanization and the inequities of capitalism—all vividly depicted in Anderson’s works.
John Updike Remembered: Friends, Family and Colleagues Reflect on the Writer and the Man
Edited by Jack A. De Bellis
Fifty-three individuals present a prismatic view of the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and his work through anecdote and insight. Interviews and essays from family, friends and associates reveal sides of the novelist perhaps unfamiliar to the public—the high school prankster, the golfer, the creator of bedtime stories, the charming ironist, the faithful correspondent with scholars, the devoted friend and the dedicated practitioner of his craft.
The contributors include his first wife, Mary Pennington, and three of their children; high school and college friends; authors John Barth, Joyce Carol Oates and Nicholson Baker; journalists Terri Gross and Ann Goldstein; and scholars Jay Parini, William Pritchard, James Plath, and Adam Begley, Updike’s biographer.
The Business of Science Fiction: Two Insiders Discuss Writing and Publishing by Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg
Hugo Gernsback and the Century of Science Fiction by Gary Westfahl
Judith Merril: A Critical Study by Dianne Newell and Victoria Lamont
Edgar Rice Burroughs and Tarzan: A Biography of the Author and His Creation by Robert W. Fenton
Buster Crabbe: A Biofilmography by Jerry Vermilye
“Gunn devotees and anyone interested in Golden Age science fiction will find a wealth of fascinating tidbits here”—Booklist
Hugo Award winning writer James Gunn (1923–) has been called “the last Golden Age author” of science fiction. In a career of almost 70 years, he has written 28 books and dozens of short stories and participated in the production of films, radio and television programs and comic books.
CALL FOR PAPERS
30th COOPERSTOWN SYMPOSIUM ON BASEBALL AND AMERICAN CULTURE
May 30 to June 1, 2018
Cooperstown, New York
The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, co-sponsored by SUNY Oneonta and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, examines the impact of baseball on American culture from interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives.
Proposals for papers are invited from all disciplines and on all topics. Papers on baseball as baseball are not encouraged. Submission is by abstract and one-page vitae (be sure to include complete contact information). Abstracts should be narrative, limited to three type-written pages. Presentations should be designed to fit into a 20-minute panel segment. The deadline for submission is December 15, 2017. Proposals can be sent via US mail or email to:
Jim Gates, Librarian
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326
The Caribbean islands have a vibrant oral folklore. In Jamaica, the clever spider Anansi, who outsmarts stronger animals, is a symbol of triumph by the weak over the powerful. The fables of the foolish Juan Bobo, who tries to bring milk home in a burlap bag, illustrate facets of traditional Puerto Rican life. Conflict over status, identity and power is a recurring theme—in a story from Trinidad, a young bull, raised by his mother in secret, challenges his tyrannical father who has killed all the other males in the herd.
One in a series of folklore reference guides by the author, this volume shares summaries of 438 tales—some in danger of disappearing—retold in English and Creole from West African, European, and slave indigenous cultures in 24 countries and territories. Tales are grouped in themed sections with a detailed subject index and extensive links to online sources.
Focusing on crime fiction and films that artfully combine comedy and misdeed, this book explores the reasons writers and filmmakers inject humor into their work and identifies the various comic techniques they use. The author covers both American and European books from the 1930s to the present, by such authors as Rex Stout, Raymond Chandler, Robert B. Parker, Elmore Leonard, Donald E. Westlake, Sue Grafton, Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich, along with films from The Thin Man to the BBC’s Sherlock series.
Challenging readers to rethink what they read and why, the author questions the aesthetic assumptions that have led to the devaluing of fanfiction—a genre criticized as both tasteless and derivative—and other “guilty pleasure” reading (and writing), including romance and fantasy. The complicated relationship between “fanfic” and intellectual property rights is discussed in light of the millennia-old tradition of derivative literature, before modern copyright law established originality as the hallmark of great fiction.
“Absorbed reading”—the practice of immersing oneself in the narrative versus critically “reading from a distance”—is a strong motive for the appropriation by fanfiction of canon characters and worlds.
Patricia A. McKillip and the Art of Fantasy World-Building
Audrey Isabel Taylor
From wondrous fairy-lands to nightmarish hellscapes, the elements that make fantasy worlds come alive also invite their exploration. This first book-length study of critically acclaimed novelist Patricia A. McKillip’s lyrical other-worlds analyzes her characters, environments and legends and their interplay with genre expectations. The author gives long overdue critical attention to McKillip’s work and demonstrates how a broader understanding of world-building enables a deeper appreciation of her fantasies.
Charles Sweeny, the Man Who Inspired Hemingway
Charley Roberts and Charles P. Hess
Charles Sweeny (1882–1963) was the heir to a fortune. Renouncing a life of comfort, he became a warrior for causes he believed in. Twice kicked out of West Point, he fought in revolts against three Latin American dictators. He was a decorated officer in the French Foreign Legion and in the U.S. Army during World War I, a brigadier general in the Polish-Soviet War and a military advisor in the Greco-Turkish War. He led a flying squadron in Morocco’s Rif War, advised Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War and spied for French intelligence during World War II.
Before America entered the war, he dodged FBI agents and U.S. neutrality laws to recruit American pilots to fight the Nazis and became a group captain in the R.A.F.’s Eagle Squadron. After Pearl Harbor, he worked with “Wild Bill” Donovan to devise guerrilla campaigns in North Africa and Eastern Europe. This richly detailed biography draws on Sweeny’s personal papers, historical documents and photographs to chronicle the fascinating life of America’s most celebrated soldier of fortune—a lifelong friend of Ernest Hemingway and a model for his fictional heroes.
Congratulations to Margaret Kinsman, whose book, Sara Paretsky: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction, won the 2017 Macavity Award for Best Nonfiction! Awarded annually by Mystery Readers International, Macavity Awards honor outstanding books in multiple categories related to detective fiction. For a full list of 2017 award winners, please click here.
More information about the McFarland Companions to Mystery Fiction series is available here.
Goddess and Grail: The Battle for King Arthur’s Promised Land
Jeffrey John Dixon
The early chroniclers of Britain presented the island as the promised land of the Roman goddess Diana. Later, when the story of Arthur was transformed by Christian mythology, a new literary concept of the island was promoted: the promised land of the Holy Grail. As the feminine enchantment of the Goddess gave way to the masculine crusade of the Grail Quest, the otherworld realms of the fays or fairy women were denigrated in favor of the heavenly afterlife.
The dualism of the medieval authors was challenged by modern writers such as Blake and Tolkien, as well as by the scholars of the Eranos conferences. This book explores the conflict between Goddess and Grail—a rift less about paganism versus Christianity than about religious literalism versus spiritual imagination—which is resolved in the figure of Sophia (Divine Wisdom).
Action and Consequence in Ibsen, Chekhov and Strindberg
Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov and August Strindberg—innovators of modern drama—created characters whose reckless pursuits of irrational objectives blind them to better options. Ibsen’s protagonists in A Doll’s House, Hedda Gabler and The Master Builder try to bend the world to conform to their personal visions—with disastrous results. Chekhov’s characters refuse to do anything, instead dramatizing their lives as if they were actors in a play (which they are). Rehearsing the intractable squabbles between men and women in The Dance of Death and The Ghost Sonata, Strindberg suggests that only in life beyond death can humanity transcend the brutality of existence. Together, the lives of these characters offer a study of the individual’s struggle with modernity.
Richard Yates and the Flawed American Dream: Critical Essays
Edited by Jennifer Daly
Richard Yates (1926–1992) has been described as a “writer’s writer” but has never received the critical attention befitting that designation. Firmly rooted in the zeitgeist of 1950s, his work remains startlingly relevant, addressing themes of American identity, the nature of marriage and relationships between men and women, and what it means to get ahead in a society entranced by a flawed American Dream.
This collection of new essays is the first to focus on this under-appreciated author. It opens up his body of work for a new generation of readers, and positions Yates as a writer of significance in the American tradition.
This weekend, we’re in Savannah for the 2017 Popular Culture Association in the South conference! Join us in the exhibit hall to browse our latest pop culture scholarship, and while you’re there, marvel at managing editor Lisa Camp’s improvised bookstands made from hotel napkins (the real ones didn’t make it).
Documenting a theater project for incarcerated youth in a New Mexico juvenile detention facility, this book presents the script of a play about prison life, and interweaves the author’s creative, self-reflective text (autoethnography). The collaborative experience of writing and staging such a play enacted by prisoners frames a discussion of larger social and political themes in the criminal justice system, and of the complexities of getting juveniles to engage with variously positioned mentors.
Check out our newest catalog: scholarly books about Harry Potter!
CALL FOR PROPOSALS for a new essay collection:
You Win or You Die: Performances of Gender, Death, and Power in Game of Thrones (tentative title)
Called “the world’s most popular show” by TIME magazine, Game of Thrones has changed the
landscape of serial narrative during an era hailed as the New Golden Age of TV. While an
adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy A Song of Fire and Ice, the television show has
taken on a life of its own, including creating original plotlines when the story advanced past the
books that Martin has published.
With the death of protagonist Ned Stark at the end of Season One, Game of Thrones launched
a killing spree in television: major characters die on popular shows every week now (for an
excellent analysis of this trend and a demographic breakdown of who’s getting killed off, see
https://www.vox.com/2016/6/1/11669730/tv-deaths-character-best). While many shows kill off
major characters for pure shock value, death on Game of Thrones produces seismic shifts in
power dynamics and resurrected bodies that continue to fight on in war.
War in early seasons is solidly the purview of men, but by Season Six, women are literally and
figuratively changing the battlefield, overthrowing the men who have dominated and controlled
them, and vying for thrones. For a show that’s been accused of mishandling rape, using it for
titillation and voyeurism rather than condemning it, the writers seem to be playing a different
game with female characters as the narrative rushes toward its conclusion.
The complex dynamics of how gender, death, and power are performed in Game of Thrones
warrants rigorous analysis by scholars in performance and media studies and beyond. Our
proposed anthology will be divided into overlapping sections on gender, death, power, and
Possible topics include:
– What kinds of performances of masculinity and femininity do we see in this show?
– Women as nurturers, women as vengeful assassins, women as queens
– Dany’s retinue includes two eunuchs and a dwarf, and by the time she arrives in
Westeros, none of her closest advisors are alpha males. What does this say about
gender and power?
– How does the show handle hypermasculinity?
– Jon Snow’s hair
– Sansa’s fantasies of marrying a prince, and her harsh realities
– The men who manipulate Cersei, and the way she takes her revenge
– The Sand Snakes and the trope of desert people being hypersexualized and violent
– Yara, Brienne, The Waif, and female masculinity
– Arya, marrying a nobleman, and “that’s not you”
– Gender, politics, and regionalism: how do politics and gender intersect differently north
of the wall, in Dorne, in the rest of Westeros, and across the sea?
– What’s the significance of the men of the Night’s Watch swearing a vow of chastity, and
why does Jon Snow get away with breaking it so easily? Why does Sam?
– Does the narrative critique the characters’ misogyny enough, or reify it?
– Motherhood (Cersei’s incestual children are all dead, Dany’s children are dragons)
– Sam’s gentle demeanor and academic nature
– What does the show seem to say about death, given that for so many characters, death
is not the end?
– What is the distinction between alive and not?
– What do the narrative’s rituals related to death say about its values?
– Wights as zombies
– The distinction between White Walkers and their army of wights
– The relation between those resurrected by Red Priests/Priestesses and those
resurrected by ice
– How does death often lead to new life or new dynamics of power (dragons, killer
zombies, a king)
– “In the light of the seven,” “the night is dark and full of terrors,” “what is dead may never
die,” and religion’s disposition toward death and resurrection
– Religion used to fight zombies and create them
– Arya’s list
– Supernatural and Faceless men, Three-Eyed Raven
– What’s the show’s attitude toward war and violence?
– How does the show represent war?
– How does the show braid together issues of gender, violence, power, and war?
– Endless war
– Religion used as a weapon, a justification for violence, a political tool
– White trash (Freys, Greyjoys) and inbreeding
– The dynamics of color; ethnicity and race; rehearsal of Western hegemony under a
slightly different name
– How does the show use accents to imply power and authority
– New languages–who speaks which language(s) and how does language interact with
– Low / no-tech world, pre-industrial society–does that give the show a pass on
– The above ideas relate to power within the narrative, but what about the power of this TV
show? HBO’s budgets are some of the highest per episode of any television show in
history, and GoT has influenced not only serial television but also films and novels. What
kind of cultural and industry power does the show wield?
PERFORMANCE and REPRESENTATION
– Performances of gender, sexuality, and power
– What gets performed around the show—fandom, social media, criticism, ComiCon,
cosplay, watching parties
– The performance of the actors
– How do characters perform nobility, authority, power, family?
– Theater has a powerful impact on Arya Stark–how and why?
– The show has been criticized for the way it represents: sex, love, romance, same-sex
intimacy, race, and violence. How are these criticisms apt? What do these criticisms
– What stereotypes does the show trade in, especially in conflating region, geography,
accent, class, and race?
Maigret’s World: A Reader’s Companion to Simenon’s Famous Detective
Murielle Wenger and Stephen Trussel
Georges Simenon’s 75 novels and 28 short stories that feature Chief Inspector Jules Maigret provide us with a great deal of information about the French police detective—but only in small, episodic doses. As readers become acquainted with Maigret one detail at a time, he slowly takes on a flesh-and-bone realism—not merely a character in a story, but someone we would like to meet in real life. This book presents all the canonical facts and details about the detective and his world in one place, presented with tabulations and analyses that enable a better understanding of the works and of Maigret himself.
King Arthur and Robin Hood on the Radio: Adaptations for American Listeners
Katherine Barnes Echols
Before stories of King Arthur and Robin Hood were adapted and readapted for film, television and theater, radio scriptwriters looking for material turned to Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur (1485) and Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (1883). From the 1930s throughout the mid–1950s, their legends inspired storylines for Abbott and Costello, Popeye, Let’s Pretend, Escape, Gunsmoke, The Adventures of Superman and others. Many of these adaptations reflect the moral and ethical questions of the day, as characters’ faced issues of gender relations, divorce, citizenship, fascism, crime and communism in a medieval setting.
Library World Records, 3d ed.
Foreword by Joyce N. Church
Which are the oldest public libraries in the world? In what years were the first books printed in French, Thai, Japanese, Arabic, Turkish? What are the oldest extant texts written in Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish? When was the first major computer database used in libraries? What are the titles of the largest, smallest or most expensive books ever published? Where is the world’s busiest public library? Which three books were the first to contain photographs? In its updated and expanded third edition, this reference work provides hundreds of fascinating facts about libraries, books, periodicals, reference databases, specialty archives, bookstores, catalogs, technology, information science organizations and library buildings.
“Recommended for literature, performing-arts, and LGBTQ collections.”—Booklist
At 2:38 p.m. today, McFarlanders will take a break to go outside and stare directly into the sun. Join us! In honor of the eclipse, take 20% off all books about the solar system with the coupon code ECLIPSE!
Gen Con may be sold out, but McFarland is just getting started—visit our booth in the exhibit hall, where the best scholarship on gaming and pop culture is on sale now!
W.D. Ehrhart in Conversation: Vietnam, America and the Written Word
Edited by Jean-Jacques Malo
W. D. Ehrhart, named by Studs Turkel as “the poet of the Vietnam War,” has written and lectured on a wide variety of topics and has been a preëminent voice on the Vietnam War for decades. Revered in academia, he has been the subject of many master’s theses, doctoral dissertations, journals and books for which he was interviewed. Yet only two major interviews have been published to date. This complete collection of unpublished interviews from 1991 through 2016 presents Ehrhart’s developing views on a range of subjects over three decades.
Brian Friel: A Literary Companion
Mary Ellen Snodgrass
“Her biographical research is particularly strong…useful…a credible aid to Friel scholarship…highly recommended.”
Broadway Actors in Films, 1894–2015
The Morals of Monster Stories: Essays on Children’s Picture Book Messages
Edited by Leslie Ormandy
The simplicity of children’s picture books—stories told with illustrations and a few well chosen words or none at all—makes them powerful tools for teaching morals and personal integrity. Children follow the story and see the characters’ behaviors on the page and interpret them in the context of their own lives. But unlike many picture books, most children’s lives don’t feature monsters.
This collection of new essays explores the societally sanctioned behaviors imparted to children through the use of monsters and supernatural characters. Topics include monsters as instructors, the normalization of strangers or the “other,” fostering gender norms, and therapeutic monsters, among others.
Poet and critic Matthew Arnold (1822–1888) was a prominent educator. One of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Elementary Schools for 35 years, he traveled abroad to report on foreign education. Though Arnold is recognized as an early proponent of comparative education, there has been little study of his work in the field.
The author examines Arnold’s writings and presents three related arguments—that England was well behind countries like France and Germany in “the civilization of her middle class”; that advances being made abroad were largely due to strong state education systems, and that it was essential for England to establish a system of post-elementary education modeled on foreign systems.
We’re back in San Diego for another Comic Con—stop by our booth in the exhibit hall for the best in pop culture scholarship!
Our Fall 2017 New Books catalog is now available—click here to see what’s new from your favorite authors!
H.C. Bailey’s Reggie Fortune and the Golden Age of Detective Fiction
Laird R. Blackwell
H.C. Bailey’s detective Reggie Fortune was one of the most popular protagonists of the Golden Age of detective fiction. Fortune appeared in nine novels yet it was in a series of 84 short stories that were published from 1920 to 1940 where he truly shone, combining elements of several popular archetypes—the eccentric logician, the forensic investigator, the hard-boiled interrogator, the psychological profiler, the defender of justice.
This critical study examines the Fortune stories in the context of other popular detective fiction of the era. Bailey’s classics are distinguished by well-clued puzzles, brilliant sleuthing, vivid description and social critique, with Fortune evoking images of Don Quixote and the Arthurian Knights in his pursuit of truth and justice in an uncaring world.
Fifty Shades and Popular Culture
Many fans loved Fifty Shades of Grey. Many others loved to hate it. E.L. James’ trilogy of novels, and the film based on them, created a popular culture sensation, revealing much about a society that is both preoccupied with and scandalized by BDSM eroticism. Some critics argued that the franchise glorified kinky sex and normalized sexual abuse. Others praised it for illuminating consensual sexual practices that have long been marginalized in mainstream media. Yet behind their erotic content, James’ novels explored not only everyday failures to identify questionable behaviors in romantic relationships, but also society’s obsession with wealth. They also speak to the value and meaning of fan fiction, parodies, merchandizing and product placement.
Listening to Women on the Right: Communication Strategies of Today’s Female Republican Politicians
Rachel Friedman, Nichelle D. McNabb and Kristen L. McCauliff
For much of the past century, public discourse about gender and politics has been driven largely by progressive women—those voices on the left that support policies widely considered to be pro-women. Little scholarly attention has been paid to the dialogue of conservative women, and what literature there is tends to focus on specific issues rather than fundamentals like social and political identity. The authors focus on this under-studied yet rhetorically interesting group and their approach to political speech. The narratives and policy positions of Condoleezza Rice, Nikki Haley, Teri Lynn Land, Susana Martinez, Joni Ernst and others are examined for the ways in which they frame their political images as women in the GOP.
Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, 2d ed.
William B. Jones, Jr.
A significant expansion of the critically acclaimed first edition, Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, 2d ed., carries the story of the Kanter family’s series of comics-style adaptations of literary masterpieces from 1941 into the 21st century. This book features additional material on the 70-year history of Classics Illustrated and the careers and contributions of such artists as Alex A. Blum, Lou Cameron, George Evans, Henry C. Kiefer, Gray Morrow, Rudolph Palais, and Louis Zansky. New chapters cover the recent Jack Lake and Papercutz revivals of the series, the evolution of Classics collecting, and the unsung role of William Kanter in advancing the fortunes of his father Albert’s worldwide enterprise. Enhancing the lively account of the growth of “the World’s Finest Juvenile Publication” are new interviews and correspondence with editor Helene Lecar, publicist Eleanor Lidofsky, artist Mort Künstler, and the founder’s grandson John “Buzz” Kanter.
Detailed appendices provide artist attributions, issue contents and, for the principal Classics Illustrated–related series, a listing of each printing identified by month, year, and highest reorder number. New U.S., Canadian and British series have been added. More than 300 illustrations—most of them new to this edition—include photographs of artists and production staff, comic-book covers and interiors, and a substantial number of original cover paintings and line drawings.
Imagining the figure of the fictional detective as an archetype in the study of modern culture, the author argues that contemporary detective fiction can help us better comprehend fundamental shifts of the Digital Age—in communication, family, entertainment, society, even the way we think as individuals. The nature of the detective story itself models how we build and share knowledge. Drawing on concepts from literature and media studies, the author reveals clues about modern phenomena like conspiracy theory, groupthink and the nature of our digital identities.
Young adult literature featuring teenage lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning characters is fast growing in popularity. Unlike the “problem novels” of the past, which focused on the guilt, bullying and isolation of LGBTQ characters, today’s narratives present more sympathetic and celebratory portrayals. The author explores a selection of recent novels—many of which may be new to readers—and places them in the wider contexts of LGBTQ literature and history. Chapters discuss a range of topics, including the relationship of Queer Theory to literature, LGBTQ families, and recent trends in utopian and dystopian science fiction.
The Written Dead: Essays on the Literary Zombie
Edited by Kyle William Bishop and Angela Tenga
Afterword by Robert G. Weiner
From Victor Halperin’s White Zombie (1932) to George A. Romero’s landmark Night of the Living Dead (1968) and AMC’s hugely successful The Walking Dead (2010–), zombie mythology has become an integral part of popular culture. In a reversal of the typical pattern of adaptation, the zombie developed onscreen before appearing in short stories and comic books during the 20th century, and more recently as subjects of more traditional novels. This collection of new essays examines some of the most influential and inventive zombie literature, from the early stories to the most recent narratives, including some told from a zombie perspective.
The Linguistics of Stephen King: Layered Language and Meaning in the Fiction
James Arthur Anderson
Stephen King, “America’s Favorite Boogeyman,” has sold over 350 million copies of his books, becoming in effect the face of horror fiction. His influence on popular culture has drawn both strong praise and harsh criticism from reviewers and scholars alike. While his popularity cannot be overstated, his work has received relatively little critical attention from the academic world.
Examining King’s fiction using modern literary theory, this study reveals the unexpected complexity of 22 short stories and novels, from Carrie to End of Watch. The author finds King using fantasy and horror to expose truths about reality and the human condition.
Wells Meets Deleuze: The Scientific Romances Reconsidered
Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III
The writings of H.G. Wells have had a profound influence on literary and cinematic depictions of the present and the possible future, and modern science fiction continues to be indebted to his “scientific romances,” such as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds and The Island of Doctor Moreau. Interpreted and adapted for more than a century, Wells’s texts have resisted easy categorization and are perennial subjects for emerging critical and theoretical perspectives. The author examines Wells’s works through the post-structuralist philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. Via this critical perspective, concepts now synonymous with science fiction—such as time travel, alien invasion and transhumanism—demonstrate the intrinsic relevance of Wells to the genre and contemporary thought.
Fictional war narratives often employ haunted battlefields, super-soldiers, time travel, the undead and other imaginative elements of science fiction and fantasy. This encyclopedia catalogs appearances of the strange and the supernatural found in the war stories of film, television, novels, short stories, pulp fiction, comic books and video and role-playing games. Categories explore themes of mythology, science fiction, alternative history, superheroes and “Weird War.”
P.D. James: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction
Laurel A. Young
Series Editor Elizabeth Foxwell
British National Health Service employee Phyllis Dorothy James White (1920–2014) reinvented herself at age 38 as P.D. James, crime novelist. She then became long known as England’s “Queen of Crime.” Sixteen of her 20 novels feature one or both of her series detectives, Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard and private eye Cordelia Gray. Stand-alone works include the dystopian The Children of Men (1992) and Death Comes to Pemberley (2011), a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
James’s careful plotting has earned comparison with Golden Age British detective writers such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. Yet James’s work is thoroughly modern, with realistic descriptions of police procedures and the echoes and aftereffects of crime. This literary companion includes more than 700 encyclopedic entries covering the characters, settings and themes of her published writing, along with a career chronology, chronological and alphabetical listings of her works, and an exhaustive index.
The Green Line Runner: A Novel of Cyprus
Cyprus. 1979. One island, divided by the notorious Green Line. Greeks on one side, Turks on the other. To cross the Green Line means death and 342 men have found that out. John Reid, who grew up in Cyprus, is the first to cross the Green Line, and not once but several times. Certain Greek millionaires make him an offer he can’t refuse, and this leads him into the clutches of The Professor, the head of the Turkish Cypriot Secret Service. Reid’s desperate attempt at escape is threatened by Burt Zoffel, a CIA operative from his past, and by Zoffel’s beautiful daughter, playing her own game.
With the scent of the old Ottoman world wafting about, Reid moves fast over the sun-baked soil and through the Aleppo pines, along the golden beaches with kebabs and ouzo, up perilous mountain roads beneath ancient monasteries on craggy cliffs, and Crusader castles aloof above the world of killers and spies.
The Rules of Screenwriting and Why You Should Break Them
Bill Mesce, Jr.
A couple of generations ago, the movie industry ran on gut instinct—film schools, audience research departments and seminars on screenwriting were not yet de rigueur. Today the standard is the analytical approach, intended to demystify filmmaking and guarantee success (or at least minimize failure). The trouble with this method is that nobody knows how to do it—they just think they do—and films are made based on models of predictability rather than the merits of the script.
This insider’s look at the craft and business of screenwriting explodes some of the popular myths, demonstrating how little relevance the rules have to actual filmmaking. With long experience in film and television, the author provides insightful how-not-to analyses, with commentary by such veterans as Josh Sapan (CEO of AMC Networks), bestselling author Adriana Trigiani and Oscar–nominated screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi (Goodfellas).
“Soldier mortals would not survive if they were not blessed with the gift of imagination and the pictures of hope,” wrote Confederate Private Henry Graves in the trenches outside Petersburg, Virginia. “The second angel of mercy is the night dream.” Providing fresh perspective on the human side of the Civil War, this book explores the dreams and imaginings of those who fought it, as recorded in their letters, journals and memoirs. Sometimes published as poems or songs or printed in newspapers, these rarely acknowledged writings reflect the personalities and experiences of their authors. Some expressions of fear, pain, loss, homesickness and disappointment are related with grim fatalism, some with glimpses of humor.
For the Gay Stage: A Guide to 456 Plays, Aristophanes to Peter Gill
Drewey Wayne Gunn
Previous surveys of the gay theatrical repertoire have concentrated on plays produced on Broadway or in London’s West End. This comprehensive guide goes well beyond these earlier studies by introducing productions from Off Broadway, from regional theaters in the U.S. and U.K., and from Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Also included are Puerto Rican, Indian and Filipino plays written in English, as well as translations from other languages. Well over half of the works discussed here appear for the first time in such a study.
Genres of Doubt: Science Fiction, Fantasy and the Victorian Crisis of Faith
Elizabeth M. Sanders
Nineteenth-century Britain gave birth to the fantasy novel and the science fiction novel—two of today’s most popular genres. During the same period, the traditional Christian beliefs that had underpinned British society for centuries faced new challenges as geological discoveries, the writings of Charles Darwin and exposure to other cultures gave rise to a Victorian “crisis of faith.”
These two shifts—one literary, one cultural—were deeply intertwined. The novel, a literary form that was developed as a vehicle for realism, when infused with unreal elements offered a space to ponder questions about the supernatural, the difference between belief and knowledge, and humanity’s place in the world. The author explores how questions of meaning, identity and faith inspired the speculative fiction of today’s novels, films, television shows and comics.
A Wider View of the Universe: Henry Thoreau’s Study of Nature, Revised Edition
Robert Kuhn McGregor
Thoreau in his early career did not consider nature a worthy subject for his pen. Beginning with only a superficial knowledge of nature—even while living at Walden Pond—he later began to study the subject more intensely in 1849. Over the next dozen years, he applied himself especially to botany and ornithology, seeking to integrate knowledge into the larger patterns of life.
Independently deriving what today would be considered an ecological worldview, Thoreau devoted the last years of his writing career to nature studies, written in his own distinctive voice.
In this revised edition of a standard study of Thoreau and nature, the author traces the origins and development of Thoreau’s shift in viewpoint and his painstaking efforts thereafter.
We’re in Kalamazoo, Michigan for the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies! Visit senior acquisitions editor Gary Mitchem on the campus of Western Michigan University.
Three Plays of Tirso de Molina: New Translations of Don Juan: The Jackal of Seville; A Sinner Saved, a Saint Damned; and The Timid Young Man at the Palace Gate
Tirso de Molina Translated by Raymond Conlon
Generally credited as the creator of Don Juan, one of the most famous characters in literature, Tirso de Molina (1580–1648) is largely unknown to English readers. He wrote within an extraordinary literary milieu (the Spanish Golden Age—Velázquez, Ribera, Cervantes…) and left his own mark.
This book presents three of his best known works, never before translated in one collection: the Don Juan play, a theological play and a court comedy.
Don Juan is recognized as a masterpiece of psychological portraiture and has been the subject of countless analyses, and diagnosed as a misogynist, a repressed homosexual, a misanthrope, a narcissist. However he may be interpreted, the reader senses that in Don Juan, Tirso was probing a dark area of the human spirit.
The playwright is known for his realistic and penetrating psychological portraits of women. His female characters are forceful, cunning, witty and courageous, and their frank and unabashed sexuality is striking for the age—so much so that Tirso was censured and eventually banished from Madrid.
Friendly Fire in the Literature of War
Earl R. Anderson
The term “friendly fire” was coined in the 1970s but the theme appears in literature from ancient times to the present. It begins the narrative in Aeschylus’s Persians and Larry Heinemann’s Paco’s Story. It marks the turning point in Homer’s Iliad, Virgil’s Aeneid, the Chanson de Roland, Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage and Tim O’Brien’s Going After Cacciato. It is the subject of transformative disclosure in Jaan Kross’s Czar’s Madman, Ron Kovic’s Born on the Fourth of July, O’Brien’s In the Lake of the Woods and A.B. Yehoshua’s Friendly Fire. In some stories, events propel the characters into a friendly-fire catastrophe, as in Thomas Taylor’s A Piece of this Country and Oliver Stone’s 1986 film Platoon. This study examines friendly fire in a broad range of literary contexts.
Beyond Literary Studies: A Counter-Theoretical Approach
Daniel Ferreras Savoye
This response to the current crisis in the field of literary studies describes the fundamental flaws of poststructuralist literary criticism, which has become a self-serving enterprise at the expense of scholarship at large and students in particular. Outlining an improved approach that meets the expectations of 21st-century students and teachers, the author proposes a new definition of the literary object of study which addresses the inconsistencies of the literary canon by including nontraditional narratives such as films, comic books and pop songs.
Gothic Stories Within Stories: Frame Narratives and Realism in the Genre, 1790–1900
Clayton Carlyle Tarr
Frame narratives—stories within stories—are featured in nearly every canonical Gothic novel. Sometimes dismissed as a shopworn convention of the genre, frame narratives in fact function as a dynamic basis for imaginative variation and are vital to evaluating the diverse Gothic tradition. The juxtaposition between the everyday “frame world” of the story and the disturbing embedded narrative allows the monstrous to escape textual confines, forcing the reader to experience the reassurance of the ordinary alongside the horror of the uncanny.
Count Dracula Goes to the Movies: Stoker’s Novel Adapted, 3d ed.
Lyndon W. Joslin
First published in 1897, Bram Stoker’s Dracula has never been out of print. Yet most people are familiar with the title character from the movies. Count Dracula is one of the most-filmed literary characters in history—but has he (or Stoker’s novel) ever been filmed accurately?
In its third edition, this study focuses on 18 adaptations of Dracula from 1922 to 2012, comparing them to the novel and to each other. Fidelity to the novel does not always guarantee a good movie, while some of the better films are among the more freely adapted.
The Universal and Hammer sequels are searched for traces of Stoker, along with several other films that borrow from the novel. The author concludes with a brief look at four latter-day projects that are best dismissed or viewed for ironic laughs.
The Children’s Ghost Story in America
Ghost stories have played a prominent role in childhood. Circulated around playgrounds and whispered in slumber parties, their history in American literature is little known and seldom discussed by scholars. This book explores the fascinating origins and development of these tales, focusing on the social and historical factors that shaped them and gave birth to the genre.
Ghost stories have existed for centuries but have been published specifically for children for only about 200 years. Early on, supernatural ghost stories were rare—authors and publishers, fearing they might adversely affect young minds, presented stories in which the ghost was always revealed as a fraud. These tales dominated children’s publishing in the 19th century but the 20th century saw a change in perspective and the supernatural ghost story flourished.
Toy Stories: The Toy as Hero in Literature, Comics and Film
Edited by Tanya Jones
Toys—those celebrated childhood cohorts and lead actors in children’s imaginative play—have a fantastic history of heroism in fiction. From teddy bears that guard sleeping babies to plastic soldiers and cowboys who lay siege to wooden block castles, toys are often the heroes of the stories children inspire authors to tell.
In this collection of new essays, scholars from a great range of disciplines examine fictional toys as protectors of the children they love, as heroes of their own stories, and as champions for the greater good in the writings of A.A. Milne, Hans Christian Andersen, William Joyce, John Lasseter and many others.