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Friday, April 11, 2014

April 11, 2014: New AmericanStudies Books: Aggressive Fictions

[A couple weeks back, I had the chance to attend the 2014 Narrative conference at MIT. While there, I spent some time browsing the book tables, and realizing how many interesting new AmericanStudies works are constantly joining the conversation. So I thought I’d dedicate a series to highlighting a handful of the books I discovered there. Share your own new favorites (or classics!) for a bibliophiliac crowd-sourced weekend post, please!]
On the sentence I really love in the description for the week’s final new scholarly book.
There seems to be a lot to like about Kathryn Hume’s Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel (2011; so not as new as the others in the series, but I just learned about it at the conference): her readings of about forty (!) late 20th and early 21st century novels; her striking variety of authors, genres, and themes/topics within that wide-ranging collection of texts; her willingness to confront head on, and then make the case for, some of the most challenging and frustrating elements of contemporary fiction. But I’ll admit that my central interest in Hume’s book stems from one particular sentence in the book’s description: “Looking beyond the theory-based justifications that critics often provide for such fiction, Hume offers a commonsense guide for the average reader who wants to better understand and appreciate books that might otherwise seem difficult to enjoy.”
Amen. A scholarly book both written for general audiences and making the case for the importance of its focal subjects for such audiences. A. Freaking. Men. Nothing else I need to say!
Crowd-sourced post this weekend,
Ben
PS. So one more time: new (or classic) AmericanStudies books you’d highlight? Share for the weekend post!

1 comment:

  1. Ben and Fellow Bloggers,

    Aggressive Fiction is not really a new concept for me in describing works of prose, but it is a new and interesting label (I didn't know there was a word for that).

    I will check out the writing you talked about. Hopefully, I'll be able to use it as a source in my Critical and Creative Thinking class - where we are debating and talking about the pros and cons of Horrific Art (visual art, movies, music, prose, etc.)

    Take Care
    Roland A. Gibson, Jr.
    FSU IDIS Major

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