Twentieth-Century and Contemporary American Literature in Context
by Linda De Roche, Editor
June 2021, 1348pp, 8 1/2x11
4 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5358-6
$471, £363, 410€, A646
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5359-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Eleven U.S. citizens have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the second-most of any country, behind France.

This four-volume reference work surveys American literature from the early 20th century to the present day, featuring a diverse range of American works and authors and an expansive selection of primary source materials.

Bringing useful and engaging material into the classroom, this four-volume set covers more than a century of American literary history—from 1900 to the present. Twentieth-Century and Contemporary American Literature in Context profiles authors and their works and provides overviews of literary movements and genres through which readers will understand the historical, cultural, and political contexts that have shaped American writing.

Twentieth-Century and Contemporary American Literature in Context provides wide coverage of authors, works, genres, and movements that are emblematic of the diversity of modern America. Not only are major literary movements represented, such as the Beats, but this work also highlights the emergence and development of modern Native American literature, African American literature, and other representative groups that showcase the diversity of American letters. A rich selection of primary documents and background material provides indispensable information for student research.


  • Covers significant authors, including those neglected by history, and their works from major historical and cultural periods of the last century, including authors writing today
  • Situates authors' works not only within their own canon but also with the historical and cultural context of the U.S. more broadly
  • Positions primary documents after specific authors or works, allowing readers to read excerpts critically in light of the entries
  • Examines literary movements, forms, and genres that also pay special attention to multi-ethnic and women writers
Linda De Roche is professor of English and American studies at Wesley College, where she has served as director of the Honors Program and chair of the Department of Literature and Languages and teaches courses on American literature, women writers, and gender studies. A former Fulbright scholar, she earned her doctorate at the University of Notre Dame, completing a dissertation on Henry James. She has published on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, and Gail Godwin, as well as Jazz Age authors. She has also published on the popular contemporary writers Mary Higgins Clark and Erich Segal.


"In a nicely produced four-volume set, ABC-CLIO gives researchers information on twentieth and twenty-first century American authors, literary movements, and important titles."—Booklist, November 1, 2021
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