Critical Insights: Southern Gothic Literature

Critical Insights Series

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

At a Glance
  • 1 Volume; 300 Pages
  • 10-14 essays offering Current Critical Analysis by Top Literary Scholars
  • Introductory Essay by the Editor
  • Additional Works on Theme
  • Detailed Bio of the Editor
  • General Bibliography
  • General Subject Index
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Edited by Taylor Hagood

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Editor: Jay Ellis
April 2013 · 1 volume · 368 pages · 6"x9"

Includes Online Database with Print Purchase
ISBN: 978-1-4298-3823-8
# of Pages: 368
# of Volumes: 1
Print List Price: $105
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e-ISBN: 978-1-4298-3839-9
eBook Single User Price: $105

Outstanding, in-depth scholarship by renowned literary critics; great starting point for students seeking an introduction to the theme and the critical discussions surrounding it.

American Southern Gothic Literature presents one of the few book-length surveys of the genre available today, in a diverse collection of representative texts from a group of international critics. In addition to exemplary novels from established writers, such as Edora Welty, Flannery O’Conner, Carson McCullers, and Cormac McCarthy, works explored here include poetry, a play, and a fairy tale novella. This volume, part of the Critical Insights series, offers a collection of original essays that will establish for students and their teachers an exemplary representation of the genre Southern Gothic as a field of study within American literature.

Edited by Dr. Jay Ellis, Senior Instructor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, recognized as one of the leading authorities in Cormac McCarthy criticism, this volume seeks to extend the scope and diversity of literature that constitutes the genre, drawing upon representative themes, grounded in the diverse, often troubled history of the South, while introducing new perspectives and twists to the form, such as in the work of zombie literature as a generative trope. The introduction of poetry, in readings on Allen Tate, James Dickey, and Donald Justice, among others, into what has been a genre defined by fiction represents the originality of the volume. This collection will also consider the geographical significance of the genre within the broader field Southern literature. Defining genres remains a complex task, and these chapters will provide for readers the constitutive terms to locate, both geographically and metaphorically, the Southern Gothic. Among contributors are Henry Lowell Carrigan, Sharon L. Decker, Michal Sverak, and Ronja Vieth.

As supplemental material to support readers, this volume includes a list of literary works not mentioned in the book and a bibliography of critical sources for readers seeking to study this timeless theme in greater depth.

Each essay is 2,500 to 5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes. Finally, the volume's appendixes offer a section of useful reference resources:

About This Volume
Critical Context: Original Introductory Essays
Critical Readings: Original In-Depth Essays
Further Readings
Detailed Bibliography
Detailed Bio of the Editor
General Subject Index