In these gems of reportage Truman Capote takes true stories and real people and renders them with the stylistic brio we expect from great fiction. Here we encounter an exquisitely preserved Creole aristocrat sipping absinthe in her Martinique salon; an enigmatic killer who sends his victims announcements of their forthcoming demise; and a proper Connecticut householder with a ruinous obsession for a twelve-year-old he has never met. And we meet Capote himself, who, whether he is smoking with his cleaning lady or trading sexual gossip with Marilyn Monroe, remains one of the most elegant, malicious, yet compassionate writers to train his eye on the social fauna of his time.
Novelist, critic, lecturer, reviewer, man-about-conferences, David Lodge, as both analyst and practitioner, is one of our foremost experts in the forms of fiction. He is also an uncommonly sympathetic and informed observer of the passing scene, and his penetrating vision is set in a consistently ironic frame. David Lodge's humour can be a devastating weapon, but it is continually engaging because as often as not the sniper's sights are trained on the author himself, and on the curiously mobile, cosmopolitan yet specialist world he inhabits. The essays and reviews collected in this volume are selected from the occasional writings over a span of twenty years, and are all prompted by an impulse - or an invitation - to "write on" some specific topic: a book, a film, an anniversary, a trip abroad. They also reflect the drive of the professional to keep writing, "to keep the muscles of composition exercised." The pieces collected here are designed for a wide audience, and most focus, in more or less direct ways, on Lodge's own work as a novelist. Enthusiasts will take especial pleasure in discovering sources for episodes from his novels, in tracing how reality mutates into fiction - or how on occasion, the process works the other way round.
The recently released Tim Robbins film Cradle Will Rock reawakened worldwide audiences to composer Marc Blitzstein's runaway Broadway hit of 1937, and to the exciting times he lived in. Blitzstein went on to write Regina (based on Lillian Hellman's "The Little Foxes"), the definitive translation of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's Threepenny Opera, and an enormous amount of other music based squarely in American and Broadway traditions. Mark the Music is an engaging biography of this larger-than-life composer that reads like a novel. Practically every page features an illuminating and revealing pen portrait of the most important creative personalities in American culture—Orson Welles, John Houseman, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Robeson, Sean O'Casey, Agnes de Mille, Lotte Lenya, Melvyn Douglas, Shirley Both, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Earl Robinson, Rudolf Bing, and many more. A vibrant journey through mid-20th century America comes to life through the eyes and experience of Marc Blitzstein. The issues that marked Blitzstein's day—censorship, repression, war—are all with us today. This is a story of passion, defiance, glory and tragedy, and ultimately of faith in democratic American values expressed through the arts.
A close look at the genesis of one of America's great modern writers Robert Emmet Long presents a full account of Truman Capote's early life, making use of Capote's unpublished papers. Topics covered include his strange relationship with his beautiful but immature mother (she was sixteen years old when capote was born) as well as his friendships with a series of rich and talented women. Combining biographical insights with literary criticism, Truman Capote, Enfant Terrible presents a grand overview of a complex and fascinating author: one who remained a child in appearance and behavior; a southerner who strayed from the south; a celebrity while living in the most solitary realm of his vast imagination.
Esteemed critic Blanche Gelfant's brilliant companion gathers together lucid essays on major writers and themes by some of the best literary critics in the United States. Part 1 is comprised of articles on stories that share a particular theme, such as "Working Class Stories" or "Gay and Lesbian Stories." The heart of the book, however, lies in Part 2, which contains more than one hundred pieces on individual writers and their work, including Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Richard Ford, Raymond Carver, Eudora Welty, Andre Debus, Zora Neal Hurston, Anne Beattie, Bharati Mukherjee, J. D. Salinger, and Jamaica Kincaid, as well as engaging pieces on the promising new writers to come on the scene.
A composer and lyricist of enormous innovation and influence, Marc Blitzstein remains one of the most versatile and fascinating figures in the history of American music, his creative output running the gamut from films scores and Broadway operas to art songs and chamber pieces. A prominent leftist and social maverick, Blitzstein constantly pushed the boundaries of convention in mid-century America in both his work and his life. Award-winning music historian Howard Pollack's new biography covers Blitzstein's life in full, from his childhood in Philadelphia to his violent death in Martinique at age 58. The author describes how this student of contemporary luminaries Nadia Boulanger and Arnold Schoenberg became swept up in the stormy political atmosphere of the 1920s and 1930s and throughout his career walked the fine line between his formal training and his populist principles. Indeed, Blitzstein developed a unique sound that drew on everything contemporary, from the high modernism of Stravinsky and Hindemith to jazz and Broadway show tunes. Pollack captures the astonishing breadth of Blitzstein's work--from provocative operas like The Cradle Will Rock, No for an Answer, and Regina, to the wartime Airborne Symphony composed during his years in service, to lesser known ballets, film scores, and stage works. A courageous artist, Blitzstein translated Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera during the heyday of McCarthyism and the red scare, and turned it into an off-Broadway sensation, its "Mack the Knife" becoming one of the era's biggest hits. Beautifully written, drawing on new interviews with friends and family of the composer, and making extensive use of new archival and secondary sources, Marc Blitzstein presents the most complete biography of this important American artist.
Narrative Truth and the Contemporary American Documentary Novel
Author: Leonora Flis
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Category: Literary Criticism
Factual Fictions: Narrative Truth and the Contemporary American Documentary Novel focuses on contemporary American documentary narratives, specifically the documentary novel, as it re-emerged in the 1960s and later developed into various other forms. The book explores the connections between the documentary novel and the concurrent rise of New Journalism (a.k.a. “literary journalism”) in the United States, situating the two genres in the cultural context of the tumultuous 1960s and an emerging postmodern ethos. Flis makes a comprehensive analysis of texts by Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, John Berendt, and Don DeLillo, while tackling discussions on various theoretical complexities with assurance and rigor. Interested in the precarious divide between fact and fiction, the author productively complicates traditional notions of the two poles. Furthermore, the book examines parallels between contemporary Slovene documentary narratives and their American counterparts. Flis’s work, with its systematic and innovative approach to the subject matter, adds an important historical dimension to the developing field of literary journalism studies as well as to the more established area of 20th Century American literature.
Which 100 novels represent the finest American literature ever produced? Let this book be your guide. Ordered A-Z by author this latest title in the popular Must-Read series provides a rich resource for your reading. It features 100 titles from 19th century classics: Melville's Moby Dick and Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, to the 1920s generation: Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner, the Beat generation (Kerouac's On the Road) to the major writers of today: Toni Morrison (Beloved) Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay), Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections), Donna Tartt (The Secret History) and Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible). All the major figures are covered from Fenimore Cooper to the present day, as well as lesser known and more offbeat writers that you may not yet have discoverd such as Dawn Powell, William Maxwell and Marilynne Robinson. The Read-On suggestions provide up to 500 recommendations for further titles and a long Introduction provides contextual and historical background on American fiction, providing great value and everything you need to expand your range of reading.
Adam Augustyn Assistant Manager and Assistant Editor, Literature