Writing America : Literary Landmarks From Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (A Reader's Companion)

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  • Author(s): Fishkin, Shelley Fisher
  • Publication Information:
    New Brunswick, New Jersey : Rutgers University Press. 2015
  • Additional Information
    • Publication Type:
      eBook.
    • Abstract:
      Winner of the John S. Tuckey 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award for Mark Twain Scholarship from The Center for Mark Twain Studies American novelist E.L. Doctorow once observed that literature “endows places with meaning.” Yet, as this wide-ranging new book vividly illustrates, understanding the places that shaped American writers'lives and their art can provide deep insight into what makes their literature truly meaningful. Published on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Historic Preservation Act, Writing America is a unique, passionate, and eclectic series of meditations on literature and history, covering over 150 important National Register historic sites, all pivotal to the stories that make up America, from chapels to battlefields; from plantations to immigration stations; and from theaters to internment camps. The book considers not only the traditional sites for literary tourism, such as Mark Twain's sumptuous Connecticut home and the peaceful woods surrounding Walden Pond, but also locations that highlight the diversity of American literature, from the New York tenements that spawned Abraham Cahan's fiction to the Texas pump house that irrigated the fields in which the farm workers central to Gloria Anzaldúa's poetry picked produce. Rather than just providing a cursory overview of these authors'achievements, acclaimed literary scholar and cultural historian Shelley Fisher Fishkin offers a deep and personal reflection on how key sites bore witness to the struggles of American writers and inspired their dreams. She probes the global impact of American writers'innovative art and also examines the distinctive contributions to American culture by American writers who wrote in languages other than English, including Yiddish, Chinese, and Spanish. Only a scholar with as wide-ranging interests as Shelley Fisher Fishkin would dare to bring together in one book writers as diverse as Gloria Anzaldúa, Nicholas Black Elk, David Bradley, Abraham Cahan, S. Alice Callahan, Raymond Chandler, Frank Chin, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Countee Cullen, Frederick Douglass, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Jessie Fauset, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Allen Ginsberg, Jovita González, Rolando Hinojosa, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Lawson Fusao Inada, James Weldon Johnson, Erica Jong, Maxine Hong Kingston, Irena Klepfisz, Nella Larsen, Emma Lazarus, Sinclair Lewis, Genny Lim, Claude McKay, Herman Melville, N. Scott Momaday, William Northup, John Okada, Miné Okubo, Simon Ortiz, Américo Paredes, John P. Parker, Ann Petry, Tomás Rivera, Wendy Rose, Morris Rosenfeld, John Steinbeck, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Yoshiko Uchida, Tino Villanueva, Nathanael West, Walt Whitman, Richard Wright, Hisaye Yamamoto, Anzia Yezierska, and Zitkala-Ša. Leading readers on an enticing journey across the borders of physical places and imaginative terrains, the book includes over 60 images, and extended excerpts from a variety of literary works. Each chapter ends with resources for further exploration. Writing America reveals the alchemy though which American writers have transformed the world around them into art, changing their world and ours in the process.
    • Subject Terms:
    • Subject Terms:
    • Related ISBNs:
      9780813575971. 9780813576008. 9780813575995.
    • Accession Number:
      922072974
    • Accession Number:
      1070617
    • Publication Information:
      Print/Save 100 pages
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  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      FISHKIN, S. F. Writing America : Literary Landmarks From Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (A Reader’s Companion). New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2015. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 19 out. 2019.
    • AMA:
      Fishkin SF. Writing America : Literary Landmarks From Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (A Reader’s Companion). New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press; 2015. http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=1070617&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886. Accessed October 19, 2019.
    • APA:
      Fishkin, S. F. (2015). Writing America : Literary Landmarks From Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (A Reader’s Companion). New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. Retrieved from http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=1070617&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Fishkin, Shelley Fisher. 2015. Writing America : Literary Landmarks From Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (A Reader’s Companion). New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=1070617&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886.
    • Harvard:
      Fishkin, S. F. (2015) Writing America : Literary Landmarks From Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (A Reader’s Companion). New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. Available at: http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=1070617&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886 (Accessed: 19 October 2019).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Fishkin, SF 2015, Writing America : Literary Landmarks From Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (A Reader’s Companion), Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, viewed 19 October 2019, .
    • MLA:
      Fishkin, Shelley Fisher. Writing America : Literary Landmarks From Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (A Reader’s Companion). Rutgers University Press, 2015. EBSCOhost, widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=1070617&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Fishkin, Shelley Fisher. Writing America : Literary Landmarks From Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (A Reader’s Companion). New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2015. http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=1070617&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Fishkin SF. Writing America : Literary Landmarks From Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (A Reader’s Companion) [Internet]. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press; 2015 [cited 2019 Oct 19]. Available from: http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=1070617&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886

Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2015 December #2

*Starred Review* Distinguished scholar and writer Fishkin, director of American studies at Stanford University, traces her career-launching fascination with Mark Twain to a childhood visit to his home in Hartford, Connecticut. With that defining moment in mind, along with a penetrating understanding of how place has shaped American literature and how literature has imbued certain locations in America with meaning and resonance, Fishkin offers a unique and invaluable survey of more than 100 American literary landmarks, which range from authors' homes to "streets, theaters, chapels, schools, docks, plantations, and battlefields; a statue, a body of water, a bicycle shop, a ship, a YMCA, a factory, a hotel, graveyards, internment camps, a lighthouse and an irrigation pumping station." Most chapters are dedicated to an individual writer, including Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis, and Langston Hughes. But Fishkin also gathers multiple voices in her delving coverage of Native American, Jewish immigrant, Asian American, and Mexican American writers. The biographical sketches are vivid, involving, and well-illustrated with photographs old and new. Fishkin also provides examples of each writer's work, visitor information, and "further reading" suggestions. The depth of Fishkin's knowledge and the dynamism of her enthusiasm elevate this "reader's companion" from superb resource to lustrous and delectable American literary history. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2016 January #1

Fishkin (English, director of American studies, and Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities, Stanford Univ.; Mark Twain's Book of Animals) offers lengthy essays on literature-related places that book lovers can add to their travel plans. Around half of the entries are dedicated to locations in the northeastern United States, such as Walden Pond in Massachusetts and New York's Tenement Museum. Also profiled are, for example, Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco, and Manzanar National Historic Site in Independence, CA. The essays, which are complemented by large black-and-white photos, chronicle the life of the place in question and provide detail on its literary connection. "The House That Uncle Tom's Cabin Bought," for example, which covers the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Hartford, CT, describes its construction and architecture, Stowe's purchase and decoration of the home after the worldwide success of her novel, additional places where the author lived, and more. Some of the other essays describe a larger area and multiple related literary works; both styles of essay will be valuable tourist guides. VERDICT A must for book-loving travelers of the armchair and more intrepid kinds.

[Page 134]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PW Reviews 2015 August #2

America's literary landscape proves both vast and interconnected in Stanford professor Fishkin's (Lighting Out for the Territory) newest book, which shines a light on the relationships between American authors and the places where they live and work. Using the National Register of Historic Places as her guide, the author sparks interesting questions regarding how writers influence, and are influenced by, place. The locations discussed include Walden Pond, Angel Island in San Francisco Bay (the onetime site of a processing center for Asian immigrants depicted in Maxine Hong Kingston's China Men), and the Brooklyn Ferry (discussed in relation to Walt Whitman). Chapters on Mark Twain and the massacre at Wounded Knee deal with the difference between history and memory. The influence of the writers included is far-reaching: Fishkin shows Paul Laurence Dunbar and Kingston tearing through racial barriers and Whitman helping to redefine the literary landscape, not just for other Americans but for writers such as Federico García Lorca, Jorge Luis Borges, and Pablo Neruda who read Whitman from afar. With passages by the various authors, Fishkin's book offers a diverse look at our nation's literary landscape and history. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC