Poets representing war's anguish, modernists transforming the novel, Beats capturing the rhythm of the times: the 20th century witnessed some of the most diverse and experimental writing since the birth of literature. Survey this vast and varied landscape, starting in 1900, when familiar faces like Kipling and Shaw dominated the scene. Move on to works chronicling World War One's devastation. Modernism and the avant-garde exploded soon after, but the boom of the 20s went bust and authors grappled with social issues like the Depression (Steinbeck, Wright); the Spanish Civil War (Orwell, Lorca); and ideological shifts (Russians Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn, Sartre and Camus in France). From mass-market changes, post war theatre and world genres to postmodernism, women writers, Latin American magic realism, and Gen-X authors, every trend and masterpiece is placed in context.
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Published December 1, 2001
History, Literature & Fiction.