1st Edition

Transnationalism and American Serial Fiction

ISBN 9780415744157
Published November 8, 2013 by Routledge
266 Pages

USD $55.95

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Book Description

Transnationalism and American Serial Fiction explores the vibrant tradition of serial fiction published in U.S. minority periodicals. Beloved by readers, these serial novels helped sustain the periodicals and communities in which they circulated. With essays on serial fiction published from the 1820s through the 1960s written in ten different languages—English, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Italian, Polish, Norwegian, Yiddish, and Chinese—this collection reflects the rich multilingual history of American literature and periodicals.

One of this book’s central claims is that this serial fiction was produced and read within an intensely transnational context: the periodicals often circulated widely, the narratives themselves favored transnational plots and themes, and the contents surrounding the fiction encouraged readers to identify with a community dispersed throughout the United States and often the world. Thus, Okker focuses on the circulation of ideas, periodicals, literary conventions, and people across various borders, focusing particularly on the ways that this fiction reflects the larger transnational realities of these minority communities.

Table of Contents

Contents  Introduction: Patricia Okker, "The Transnational Serial"  1: Caught Between Continents: The Local and the Transatlantic in the French-Language Serial Fiction of New Orleans’ Le Courrier de la Louisiane, 1843-1845, Clint Bruce  2: Tracking the First Latino Novel: Un matrimonio como hay muchos (1849) and Transnational Serial Fiction, Kirsten Silva Gruesz  3: Mobility and Resistance in Antebellum African American Serialized Fiction, Jean Lee Cole  4: Prose Pictures of Kleindeutschland: German-Language Local Color Serials of the Late Nineteenth Century, Peter Conolly-Smith  5: Escapism and Entertainment: Serialized Fiction in Swedish-American Newspapers, Ulf Jonas Bjork  6: ‘The Stimulus of Books and Tales’: Pauline Hopkins’s Serial Novels for the Colored American Magazine, Rachel Ihara  7: Bernardino Ciambelli's Misteri di Harlem: An Example of Serialized Fiction in the Italian American Press, Bénédicte Deschamps  8: Dream or Reality?: Polish American Serial Fiction during the Cultural Transition, 1900-1939, Danuta Romaniuk  9: An Editor Writes for His Subscribers: A Norwegian American Serialized Trilogy, 1919-1922, Orm Øverland  10: The Pregnant Bride from Suffolk Street: Intraethnic Class Conflict in a Yiddish Serial Novel (1931), Ellen Kellman  11: Piecing Together a ‘Binocular Vision’: Serial Fiction and Chinese American Identity in the Early Cold War, Wen Jin  Notes  Index

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Patricia Okker is a professor of English at the University of Missouri, Columbia and past president of the Research Society for American Periodicals. She is the author of Our Sister Editors: Sarah J. Hale and the Tradition of American Women Editors (1995) and Social Stories: The Magazine Novel in Nineteenth-Century America (2003).


"All of the essays shine light on long-neglected authors, texts, and audiences, and amply demonstrate that these serialized fictions not only reflected the concerns of their readerships but also helped shape their attitudes. Summing Up: Highly recommended." --C. Johanningsmeier, University of Nebraska at Omaha, CHOICE