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Literature as Meaning: Thematic Anthology (Penguin Academics) [Paperback]

Wendy Steiner


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Book Description

11 Mar 2005 032117206X 978-0321172068 1

Using contemporary themes, culturally and historically diverse selections, and thought-provoking questions that illuminate key literary concepts, this brief, thematic anthology invites readers to explore vital human issues raised by various genres of the written word. Acclaimed author Wendy Steiner masterfully addresses a variety of approaches to exploring literature, including close readings of literary texts, a social issues-based approach (e.g. gender identity and war), and an introduction to literature as a discipline (genre, canon, metaphor, etc.). Literature as Meaning also features Material on today's most provocative debates stimulating student discussion on topics such as masculinity, ecology and waste, spirituality, liberty and equality.


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Review

Advanced Praise for Literature as Meaning (Penguin Academics Series) by Wendy Steiner

What I really like about this text is that it models good writing: crisp, intelligent, muscular, and engaging…I enjoyed the writing more in this book than in any I have reviewed.
                                        --Crystal Jenkins Woods, Columbus State University

The first thing that impressed me is the author’s writing style.  It’s some of the clearest, tightest writing I’ve seen about literature in an introductory text.
                                        --Nancy Kennedy, Edmonds Community College

The strengths of this text are its variety, its thoughtfulness about how a range of texts work together, and its firm belief in the importance of literature.  I also think a great deal of thought has gone into making it inclusive of a range of perspectives.
                                        --Douglas A. Brooks, Texas A&M University

[T]he author’s approach emphasizes canonical diversity, the social relevance of literature, and a consideration of the aesthetic and “formal” aspects of literary creation…I like all of the author’s thematic choices, and find some especially challenging and innovative… I found the groupings and connections both useful and provocative.”
                                        --Thomas Gerard McNamee, Eastern Oregon University

It's a smart, well-thought out anthology. It understands how best to present literature to students, it recognizes what they are interested in, and how a huge range of writing can be employed to engage with, develop and challenge these interests. It is accessible without being patronizing, challenging without being overwhelming, and it does justice to both the issues examined and the fact that they are explored through literary means.”
                                        --Antony Shuttleworth, Ohio State University

This anthology strikes me as an innovative and exciting approach to introducing literature. I think students too would become engaged in the fresh approach the anthology presents…The benefit of this text is that it is a “re-vision” of the standard approach of most literary anthologies. It would be interesting and rewarding to teach from.
                                        --Sallie Wolf, Arapahoe Community College  

I would imagine that the average student would likely be more curious and interested in studying literature after reading such an anthology.
                                        --Bonnie Jett Adams, State University of West Georgia

The Introduction, with its fine section on writing about literature, is the strongest element of the book.  While the book emphasizes themes, it does not omit concern with structure and technique, and the questions for the various sections are excellent. 
                                        --Marty G. Price, Mississippi State University

Literature as Meaning attempts to enlist students’ interest by a more topical selection of themes than the typical literature-as-experience anthology...
                                        --George Uba, University of California-Northbridge

I like the synthetic aspect of the approach, the bringing together of seemingly disparate works in order to integrate them.
                                        --John D. Humma, Eastern Oregon University


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