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Contemporary American Literature

ENGL 074.601
instructor(s):
T 6-9

This course exposes students to a wide range of American fiction and poetry since World War II, giving considerable attention to recent work.  Works include Robert Penn Warren’s ALL THE KING'S MEN, Elizabeth’s Hardwick’s SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, James Baldwin’s GIOVANNI’S ROOM, Jerzy Kosinski’s THE PAINTED BIRD, Louise Erdrich’s TRACKS, John Edgar Wideman’s PHILADELPHIA FIRE, Jonathan Lethem’s THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, as well as selected poems by Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, Derek Walcott, and Gloria Anzaldua.  Students will explore these texts within social and historical contexts to generate fresh critical readings and new cultural perspectives.  The course’s thematic approaches include war, conformity, diversity, and the postmodern moment.