The Cambridge companion to the literature of the American West


The Cambridge companion to the literature of the American West

edited by Steven Frye

Cambridge University Press, 2016

  • : hbk
  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references and index



This Companion provides a comprehensive introduction to one of the most vibrant and expansive traditions in world literature. The American West occupies a unique place in the global imagination, and the literature it produced transcends the category of 'region' in theme and form. Written by prominent international scholars, the essays cover a diverse group of key texts and authors, including major figures in the Native American, Hispanic, Asian American, and African American movements. Treatments range from environmental and ecopoetic to transnational and transcultural, reflecting the richness of the field. This volume places the literature in deep historical context and features a chronology and a bibliography for further reading. It will be an essential guide for students of literature of the American West and of American literature generally.


  • 1. Introduction Steven Frye
  • 2. Transnational Wests: the literature of Spanish exploration M. Carmen Gomez-Galisteo
  • 3. Western folk traditions: from colonization to Mark Twain and the San Francisco Circle John Dudley
  • 4. Settlement, promise, and catastrophe in the middle regions Daniel Worden
  • 5. Gender and the literature of expansion Cathryn Halverson
  • 6. The American West and the literature of environmental consciousness Susan Kollin
  • 7. California in late settlement Pierre Lagayette
  • 8. The West in modern verse Gioia Woods
  • 9. Noir fiction and the Western city Lee Clark Mitchell
  • 10. The Western and film Stacey Peebles
  • 11. The Native American Renaissance Nicholas Monk
  • 12. Chicana/o literature in the West Rafael Perez-Torres
  • 13. Mestiza consciousness of La Frontera/Borderlands in Sandra Cisneros and Helena Maria Viramontes Linda Rader Overman
  • 14. The West and the Asian American experience Marguerite Nguyen
  • 15. African-American literature and the early West Eric Gardner
  • 16. Wallace Stegner and the literature of historical memory Robert Thacker
  • 17. Cormac McCarthy: narratives and borders Steven Frye.

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