The Railroad in American Fiction

An Annotated Bibliography


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About the Book

Nothing better represented the early spirit of American expansion than the railroad. Dominant in daily life as well as in the popular imagination, the railroad appealed strongly to creative writers. For many years, fiction of railroad life and travel was plentiful and varied. As the nineteenth century receded, the railroad’s allure faded, as did railroad fiction.
Today, it is hard to sense what the railroad once meant to Americans. The fiction of the railroad—often by railroaders themselves—recaptures that sense, and provides valuable insights on American cultural history.
This extensively annotated bibliography lists and discusses in 956 entries novels and short stories from the 1840s to the present in which the railroad is important. Each entry includes plot and character description to help the reader make an informed decision on the source’s merit. A detailed introduction discusses the history of railroad fiction and highlights common themes such as strikes, hoboes, and the roles of women and African-Americans.
Such writers of “pure” railroad fiction as Harry Bedwell, Frank Packard, and Cy Warman are well represented, along with such literary artists as Mark Twain, Thomas Wolfe, Flannery O’Connor, and Ellen Glasgow. Work by minority writers, including Jean Toomer, Richard Wright, Frank Chin, and Toni Morrison, also receives close attention. An appendix organizes entries by decade of publication, and the work is indexed by subject and title.

About the Author(s)

The late Grant Burns was assistant library director with the Frances Willson Thompson Library at the University of Michigan-Flint. He contributed articles to Library Journal and Library Quarterly. Also the author of McFarland’s Email Users Handbook (2002) and Librarians in Fiction: A Critical Bibliography (1998), he lived in East Lansing, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Grant Burns
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 292
Bibliographic Info: appendix, subject and title indexes
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2379-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0698-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      5

The Bibliography      25

Appendix: Publications by Decade      269
Title Index      271
Subject Index      279

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