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American Dream, American Nightmare: Fiction Since 1960 Paperback – 1 Oct 2001

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"Hume shows an encylopedic knowledge of the period she covers as she surveys novels that exhibit common techniques, problems, and issues... This well-documented study, with its lengthy bibliography, will be valuable and engaging for students and scholars at all levels." -- Choice "[Hume] works inductively, considering roughly one hundred novels published between 1960 and 1990 in order to illuminate their thematic alliances... [This volume] succeeds because of Hume's sharp eye for detail. A master of the one-thousand-word critique, she is able to succinctly move thorugh dense novels without neglecting significant themes or ignoring pressing issues... I can think of no better text to introduce graduate students to the field, enlighten specialists working in earlier periods, or guide the general reader looking for a map through the terrain of contemporary fiction." -- Eric Schocket, American Literature "A significant critical evaluation of contemporary American fiction that is sure to influence our understanding of the literature of the second half of the twentieth century... No one can claim to understand contemporary American fiction if he or she has not read and come to grips with the arguments in Hume's book." -- David W. Price, Southern Humanities Review ADVANCE PRAISE "It's hard to think of a critical book as a 'page-turner,' but I literally read American Dream, American Nightmare as though it were a novel, so engaging did I find it." -- Brian McHale, author of Postmodernist Fiction "Brilliant and far-ranging, American Dream, American Nightmare will make its readers cheer, think, and sometimes squirm. Anyone who reads, studies, or writes about the American novel after 1945 (with particular emphasis on the 1960-90 period) must accept Hume's challenge to contextualize and historicize this large body of fiction. American Dream, American Nightmare is a stunning piece of work." -- David Cowart, author of History and the Contemporary Novel

About the Author

Kathryn Hume is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English at The Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of several books, including American Dream, American Nightmare: Fiction since 1960 and Surviving Your Academic Job Hunt: Advice for Humanities PhDs.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d2a8030) out of 5 stars 1 review
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d2ab534) out of 5 stars Interpreting American Dream, American Nightmare 3 Jun. 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book. Very few critics have the courage or the eyeball power to do what Kathryn Hume has done--offer a genuinely thorough discussion of the landscape of American fiction since 1960--over 100 books discussed. Anyone who wants to educate her/himself on postwar fiction ought to get a copy of this wonderfully written book. No creepy academic jargon, lots of intelligent comparison. Also, Hume offers a politically progressive review but is never (pinch my nose) politically correct.
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