1st Edition

The Routledge Introduction to American Postmodernism

By Linda Wagner-Martin Copyright 2019
    178 Pages
    by Routledge

    178 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Introduction to American Postmodernism offers readers a fresh, insightful overview to all genres of postmodern writing. Drawing on a variety of works from not only mainstream authors but also those that are arguably unconventional, renowned scholar Linda Wagner-Martin gives the reader a solid framework and foundation to reading, understanding, and appreciating postmodern literature since its inception through the present day.


    1 The Origins of the American Postmodern, Barth, Gass, Barthelme

    2 The Books that Shaped Directions, Coover, Pynchon, DeLillo, Wallace

    3 Other Dominant Authors

    4 Postmodernism in Generations

    5 Later Generations—Morrison, Doctorow, Kingston and Chabon

    6 The Fusion of Genres in Twenty-First Century Literature

    7 "9/11" as Insistent Game-Changer

    8 Postmodern Writers in the Twenty-First Century




    Linda Wagner-Martin is Frank Borden Hanes Professor of English and Comparative Literature emerita, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. A former Guggenheim fellow, a senior NEH fellow, and a Rockefeller Institute fellow, she received the Hubbell Medal for Lifetime Achievement in American Literature in 2012. Among her recent books are John Steinbeck: A Literary Life, Maya Angelou: Adventurous Spirit, and Hemingway’s Wars: The Public and Private Battles.

    "The concept of postmodernism has been prominent in the scholarly discourse of the past five decades, a fact that might lead a reader to question the need for yet another introduction to it. Nevertheless, Linda Wagner-Martin's work is invaluable to that ongoing discussion because it largely transcends the thorny debate over postmodernism's conceptual and temporal boundaries. Instead, she summarizes a range of ways in which critics have defined postmodernism and traces the applicability of each one through several generations of American literary artists from the late 1950s until the late 2010s. Without ignoring the cultural polemics that surround the term, she succeeds in surveying postmodernism as a vital and multifaceted aesthetic." -- Derek C. Maus, SUNY Potsdam