Contemporary Literature Features

Ranking the most important authors in contemporary and late-20th-century literature is impossible. These 10 authors all made their mark over the last 50 years and are each widely considered to be significant and worth exploring. From Updike’s post-World War II suburbia to Smith’s postcolonial tale of London immigrants, the sweep of these writers’ works chronicles the vast changes that have occurred over the turn of the 21st century. The Contemporary Literature Research Collection spotlights the personal papers of several authors with ties to the Houston area, including Larry McMurtry and Donald Barthelme.

You will learn to identify the elements of fiction, poetry, and drama , trace different attitudes as seen in literature during the contemporary period, evaluate style and thematic ideas, and discuss postmodern theoretical approaches to literature. Provides information about children’s books, video and audio recordings, film strips, and other child-focused media. Entries include summary publication information, annotations, reading measurement program levels, reviews, and full MARC cataloging information. For the children’s books, CLCD provides full-text reviews from independent review sources; review sources are listed in the Database Review.

Poet Cynthia Macdonald and novelist Beverly Lowry are notable authors with links to the UH Creative Writing Program whose papers are housed in the archives. Collections feature early drafts of published works, correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia that document the writing life. Nearly all the contributors to the Harvard Guide refer to the epistemological crisis. Contemporary fiction has given up the attempt to know anything, settling instead for describing the myriad ways phenomena may be observed.

The protagonist of his mega-bestselling first novel follows a similar path, growing up in Kabul before escaping to Pakistan and then California during the war before going back to rescue his best friend’s son from an orphanage. Hosseini is now a goodwill envoy to UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, and has written eloquently about the Syrian refugee crisis. In the vein of Maus and Persepolis, this is a personal, political graphic novel (that began as a webcomic!) based on the stories Abdelrazaq’s father told her about growing up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon and incorporating Palestinian iconography and art.

Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” was named best novel of the past 25 years in a 2006 New York Times Book Review survey. The searingly painful novel offers a very personal window into the horrors of the enslavement of people and its aftermath. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, and Toni Morrison, a luminary of African American literature, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. English novelist David Mitchell is known for his frequent use of intricate and complex experimental structure in his work. In his first novel, “Ghostwritten” , he uses nine narrators to tell the story, and 2004’s “Cloud Atlas” is a novel comprising six interconnected stories. Mitchell won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for “Ghostwritten,” was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for “number9dream” , and was on the Booker longlist for “The Bone Clocks” .

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