The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature
James Hart's Oxford Companion to American Literature is a classic, which, in its 45-year lifetime, has offered a matchless guided tour through American literary culture, past and present, popular and polite. Reviewing the Fifth Edition (1983) in The New York Times Book Review, Alfred Kazin called it "a reference work I have never been able to live without...excellently resourceful." Hart now gives us the first abridgement of the Companion, making available to a much wider readership those entries from the original work that are of the greatest general interest. Compact and affordable, it contains some 2,000 entries covering authors, individual works, important literary movements, and other aspects of American literary life and literary history from the Colonial period to the modern era. Particular emphasis is given to contemporary authors, to whom approximately 325 of the biographical entries are devoted. The more specialized and esoteric entries from the original Companion have been dropped.