A Journey Through American Literature by Kevin J. Hayes

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A vivid snapshot of America's kaleidoscopic literary tradition, A Journey Through American Literature illuminates the authors, works, and events that have shaped our cultural heritage. Kevin J. Hayes charts this history through a series of approachable thematic chapters--Narrative Voice and the Short Story, the Drama of the Everyday, the Great American Novel--that reveal the richness of American literature while providing a compelling set of footholds with which to engage it. Among the topics covered are the role of travel and the symbolism of geography, characters and the importance of voice and dialect, self-definition and the American dream, new beginnings, and the role of memory. Hayes not only discusses the main canonical genres like poetry, drama, and the novel, but also looks at travel writing, autobiography, and frame tales. Key writers like Mark Twain, Ralph Ellison, Emily Dickinson, and Harriet Jacobs are central players in the drama while dozens more create a backdrop that gives this history depth. The book also features over 20 illustrations, a bibliography, and a chronology listing the key events and work in America's literary history.

About Kevin J. Hayes

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Kevin J. Hayes is Professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma and the author of The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson.
Published March 2, 2012 by Oxford University Press. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Hayes’ chapter topics (travel narrative, biography, short story, poetry, drama and the novel) offer a sensible set of destinations, but more literary readers will wonder why some of their favorite writers—Phillis Wheatley, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Kate Chopin, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sam Shepar...

Dec 01 2011 | Read Full Review of A Journey Through American Li...

ForeWord Reviews

Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, on the other hand, successfully projected their individuality in Seinfeld, a television program which they called “a show about nothing” and Hayes calls “a drama of the everyday” featuring “some of the smartest writing television has seen in recent decades.” A Jo...

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