Critical Insights: Cultural Encounters

Critical Insights Series

The series focuses on an individual author's entire body of work, a single work of literature, or a literary theme.

View Sample Pages

View Table of Contents

Free Online Access

Unlimited Users & Remote Access Included

Instant Online Activation When You Order

Also of Interest


Edited by M. Keith Booker

Chinua Achebe put African literature on the map with his first novel, Things Fall Apart. Frustrated with Western novelists' depictions of Africa, Achebe set out to write a more complex, more thoughtful novel, one that would counter Western stereotypes

Spread the Word

Editor: Nicholas Birns, Eugene Lang College
October 2012 · 1 volume · 318 pages · 6"x9"

Includes Online Database with Print Purchase
ISBN: 978-1-4298-3732-3
# of Pages: 318
# of Volumes: 1
Print List Price: $105
add to cart
e-ISBN: 978-1-4298-3780-4
eBook Single User Price: $105

Great starting point for students seeking an introduction to the theme and the critical discussions surrounding it.

Though it has been only in the last few decades that scholars have read literary works through the lenses of ethnicity and the history and aftermath of colonialism, the theme of cross-cultural encounters has a long history, stretching back as far as Shakespeare. As cultures around the world have come into contact with and grown alongside one another, they have had to engage in complex personal, economic, and social relationships—all of which have found their way into numerous literary works. Often fraught, these relationships have had a lasting impact on the modern world and modern literature as how we deal with these relationships' legacies and search for new, more just ways to understand and negotiate them.

Edited by Kent Baxter, this volume in the Critical Insights series addresses the theme of cultural encounters in literature through a diverse set of texts and through multiple methodologies. For readers who are studying the theme for the first time, a four essays survey the critical conversation regarding the theme, explore its cultural and historical contexts, and offer close and comparative readings of key texts containing the theme. Readers seeking a deeper understanding of the theme can then move on to other essays that explore it in depth through a variety of critical approaches. Classic works discussed include The Tempest, Robinson Crusoe, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Native Son and selections from the poetry of William Butler Yates and Seamus Heaney. And some of the contemporary works discussed are Brick Lane, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and Omeros.

Rounding out the volume are a list of literary works not mentioned in the book that concern the theme of coming of age and as well as a bibliography of critical sources for readers seeking to study this timeless theme in greater depth.