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Literature as Meaning: A Thematic Anthology


New York: Pearson/Longman, Penguin Academic, 2005 (paperback).

This anthology organizes its poems, plays, short stories, and nonfiction under themes of urgent contemporary interest, exposing readers to the complex ways in which literature both is and is not a statement about reality. Among the selections in Literature as Meaning are traditional and contemporary works that cover a diversity of ethnic, racial, and gender viewpoints. Thought-provoking questions accompany each section, introducing readers to basic concepts and approaches in literary criticism, from textual close reading to the aesthetic treatment of social issues such as gender, identity, ecology, and war. The pedagogical introduction lays out the discipline of literary study through discussions of genre, canon, and rhetorical figures. Part of the Penguin Academics series, this compact, economical anthology provides an ideal introduction to the study of literature.