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English 392: Modern American Fiction: About the Authors

A guide to basic information resources in Modern American Fiction, English 392.

Author Biographies and More

Ernest Hemingway: Rivers to the Sea

Novel Reflections on the American Dream

This program draws on insightful commentary from literary scholars and authors to examine the characters, plots, and themes of seven American novels that deal with wealth, poverty, and the nature of success and failure in the U.S. In an exploration that moves from the turn of the 20th century into progressively more contemporary surroundings, passages from each book are dramatized through inventively animated still photography intercut with original and archival footage. The Great GatsbyThe Grapes of WrathThe House of MirthSister Carrie, Saul Bellow’s Seize the Day, Gish Jen’s Typical American, and Ann Petry’s The Street are analyzed. From the public television American Masters series. (116 minutes)

Southern Literature 1941-1962

A wave of bold American writing from both white and black authors gave expression to Southern life during World War II and the years that followed. This program tells the story of that literary development up to the era of the civil rights movement. It presents the work of Eudora Welty, Richard Wright, Robert Penn Warren, Ralph Ellison, Lillian Smith, Flannery O’Connor, and others—as well as a revealing 1997 interview with Welty herself. An inventive dramatization of the opening of Ellison’sInvisible Man evokes the sense of surreal alienation conveyed in that novel. In addition, viewers will find excerpts from the rarely seen 1951 film adaptation of Wright’s Native Son, starring Wright himself, as well as readings from O’Connor’sWise Blood, “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” and “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” A part of the series Voices in Black and White: The History of Modern Southern Literature. (71 minutes)

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