The book sets itself the task of opening new vistas of reading a number of twentieth-century American books and writers against the background of some of the most important new developments within Cultural Studies and literary theory. It pays particular attention to those of them who have been marginalized and pushed to the periphery of the literary field such as minority and women writers as well as to those who have given birth to several Renaissances in the course of the century. The different writers and works are presented in various critical contexts, outlining in this way the changing and at times contentious interpretations of one and the same literary work. The whole study is projected against the rich and ambiguous history of modernism in the United States, which serves as a basic theoretical framing for understanding most of the characteristic features of twentieth-century American literature.
The book is primarily aimed at the large audience of high school and university students and teachers in Bulgaria, presenting a concise but yet also current perspective on American literature and filling in a serious gap in our scholarship. It will also be of interest to all who find American literature thought-provoking and fascinating.
Dr. Madeleine Danova teaches American Literature and Culture at the Department of English and American Studies at Sofia University She has taught various literary courses at other Bulgarian Universities and at SUNY, Albany. She is co-editor of the first book of Essays in American Studies (Polis Publishers, 1999), editor of the second book of Essays in American Studies: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (2001), editor of British and American Mass Media (Polis Publishers, 2000) and author of a comparative study, Nationalism, Modernism and Identity (Polis Publishers, 2000), of the two most famous literary families in the USA and Bulgaria, the Jameses and Slaveikovi.