The dissident voice in US culture might almost be said to have been born with the territory. Its span runs from Roger Williams to Thoreau, Anne Bradstreet to Gertrude Stein, Ambrose Bierce to the New Journalism, The Beats to the recent Bad Subjects cyber-crowd. This new study analyses three recent literary tranches in the tradition: a re-envisioning of the whole Beat web or circuit; a consortium of postwar "outrider" voices – Hunter Thompson to Frank Chin, Joan Didion to Kathy Acker; and a latest purview of what, all too casually, has been designated "ethnic" writing. The aim is to set up and explore these different counter-seams of modern American writing, those which sit outside, or at least awkwardly within, agreed literary canons.
Introduction: Counter Writing I. Beats 1. Beat USA: Players and Maps 2. Beat Canon, Beat Shadow Canon 3. Beat Speaking Women: Diane di Prima, Joanne Kyger, Anne Waldman 4. Black Beat: Performing Ted Joans 5. Beat International: Michael Horovitz, Andrei Voznesensky, Kazuko Shiraishi II. Outriders 6. Gonzo reportage: Hunter Thompson 7. Stories To Live By: Joan Didion 8. Pictures from an Institution: Remembering Ken Kesey 9. Street Level: Charles Bukowski 10. Feminisms: Betty Friedan, Alice Walker, Gloria Anzaldúa ,Camille Paglia 11. Performance geographies: Kathy Acker and Jessica Hagedorn III. Ethnics 12. Ethnics Behaving Badly: Texts and Contexts 13.Home and Away: US Poetries of Immigration and Migrancy 14. Rearview Mirrors: Contradance in the Poetry of Gerald Vizenor 15. Black South, Black Europe, Black Manhattan: William Demby 16. Bad Boy, Godfather, Storyteller: The China Fictions of Frank Chin 17. Out of the 1990s: Latino/a Un-bordering in US Fiction 18. Insider, Outsider: Japanese America Writing Japan