This new wing of the Scribner Writers Series takes that series' enduringly popular format -- the 20 page essay accessible to the general reader or student -- and applies it to the most-studied literary masterpieces. Each of the 20-25 essays in this volume focuses on a single work of American Literature. Written in clear, jargon-free style by college and university professors, each essay explores the nuances of a particular work -- themes, characterization, use of language -- enabling the student to comprehend, interpret and write about the classics.
Volume 1 includes essays on Toni Morrison's "Beloved", J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye", Willa Cather's "My Antonia", Jack Kerouac's "On the Road", Stephen Crane's "The Red Badge of Courage", Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" and others.
"These two volumes are the beginnings of new series in the well-known Scribner Writers Series. Rather than concentrate on authors, these two sets will concentrate on famous works -- many of which are required reading in high schools. The table of contents for each volume will help the selector decide if the set is worthy of purchase.
For each work, the volume contains a biographical essay of the author, a long critical essay weaving analysis and summary -- heavy on the former -- and a select bibliography. The reading level is high school/college and each sketch is signed by a literary scholar who has experience teaching that work. These will join other authoritative literature reference works on the shelf and will likely get "appropriated" at the first hint of an assignment on a contained work. As with all major collections, each work covered in this volume needs to appear in the catalog so that students will be able to locate it. If analytics are missing, the volume will sit on the shelf -- no fault of its own. Highly recommended if the titles covered match your curriculum, and because it adds another authoritative and critical voice about each title on your reference shelf."
-- Blanche Woolls and David Loertscher's online Reference for Students (March 2003
Price: US $229.00