1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to American Literary Journalism

Edited By William Dow, Roberta Maguire Copyright 2020
    580 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    580 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Taking a thematic approach, this new companion provides an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and international study of American literary journalism.

    From the work of Frederick Douglass and Walt Whitman to that of Joan Didion and Dorothy Parker, literary journalism is a genre that both reveals and shapes American history and identity. This volume not only calls attention to literary journalism as a distinctive genre but also provides a critical foundation for future scholarship. It brings together cutting-edge research from literary journalism scholars, examining historical perspectives; themes, venues, and genres across time; theoretical approaches and disciplinary intersections; and new directions for scholarly inquiry.

    Provoking reconsideration and inquiry, while providing new historical interpretations, this companion recognizes, interacts with, and honors the tradition and legacies of American literary journalism scholarship. Engaging the work of disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, African American studies, gender studies, visual studies, media studies, and American studies, in addition to journalism and literary studies, this book is perfect for students and scholars of those disciplines.


    William E. Dow is Professor of American Literature at the Université Paris-Est (UPEM) and Professor of English at The American University of Paris. He is the author of the book Narrating Class in American Fiction (2009) and co-editor of Richard Wright: New Readings in the 21st Century (2011), Richard Wright in a Post-Racial Imaginary (2014), and Of Latitudes Unknown: James Baldwin’s Radical Imagination (2019). He is also Associate Editor of Literary Journalism Studies (Northwestern University Press).

    Roberta S. Maguire
    is the Oshkosh Northwestern Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She has published extensively on Albert Murray, including Conversations with Albert Murray (1998), as well as essays on Alice Childress, Anna Julia Cooper, Zora Neale Hurston, Lewis Nordan, and Walker Percy. An associate editor of Literary Journalism Studies, she served as the guest editor for the Fall 2013 special issue devoted to African American literary journalism.

    Yoko Nakamura
    is a graduate student in Interdisciplinary Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Iowa. She holds a BA in International Economics and International Politics from the American University of Paris.

    "This stimulating compendium of thoughtful discussions of American literary journalism from its colonial beginnings to the contemporary digital moment will be the go-to volume on the subject for a long time. Richly inclusive—and filled with surprising juxtapositions, fresh insights, and unexpected excursions into the past and present—the Routledge Companion to American Literary Journalism is a pleasure to read."

    Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities; Professor of English, and Director of American Studies, Stanford University, and author of From Fact to Fiction: Journalism and Imaginative Writing in America.

    "Roberta Maguire and William Dow’s Routledge Companion to American Literary Journalism clearly illuminates virtually every aspect of the discipline, and the volume will serve as a foundational text for scholars and students of the field for many years to come. Notably, its masterful structure—insightful scholarly essays addressing historical, then thematic, theoretical and future-study issues—is truly a tour de force."

    David Abrahamson, Professor of Journalism, Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, Northwestern University, The Medill School.

    "This may be the most complete volume on literary journalism yet. Three dozen of the best thinkers on the topic write about its history, relationship to "real life," and the New Journalism, including the late John Pauly on the New Yorker magazine. Just as importantly, these scholars take new approaches, examine different writers, and create new critical directions for future study."

    Norman Sims, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and author of True Stories: A Century of Literary Journalism.