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American Writers
  • Authored by: Elizabeth H. Oakes
  • From the Series: American Biographies
  • Trim Size: 7-3/8 x 9-1/4
  • ISBN-10: 0816051585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-8160-5158-8
  • Status: In Stock
  • List Price: $65.00
  • Imprint: Facts On File
  • Published: 04/01/2004
  • Dewey Number: 810.9
  • Reading Level: Grades 9 and up
  • Pages: 448


American Writers focuses on the rich diversity of American novelists, short story writers, poets, dramatists, essayists, and nonfiction writers whose reputations were built on the literary merit of their writing. Providing a genuine cross-section of these major literary genres, this book includes biographical profiles of writers from colonial times to the present and from all major literary movements. Emphasis is placed on reflecting the diverse ethnic backgrounds of America's literary greats, with special effort made to include writers who have not often been represented in major reference works of this kind. Complementing the clear and engaging text are three subject indexes listing entries by birth, genre, and literary movement; further reading lists following each entry; a general bibliography; and 55 black-and-white photographs.

The book profiles those writers who have contributed the most to the development of the American literary tradition, whether they are writers of literary fiction or of science fiction, have been motivated by politics or inspired by nature, are poets or dramatists. Its expanded coverage of multiethnic writers and its attention to contemporary writers help American Writers stand out among other similar works.

Profiles include:

  • Edward Albee: playwright
  • Louisa May Alcott: essayist and novelist
  • Maya Angelou: poet
  • Margaret Atwood: novelist, short story writer, and poet
  • Ray Bradbury: novelist, poet, playwright, and screenwriter
  • Countee Cullen: poet
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne: novelist
  • Ha Jin: short story writer, novelist, and poet
  • Flannery O'Connor: short story writer
  • Grace Paley: short story writer and poet
  • Kurt Vonnegut: novelist and short story writer
  • Alice Walker: novelist, short story writer, and nonfiction writer.


Black-and-white photographs. Index. Subject indexes. Bibliography. Cross-references. Further reading lists.

About the Author(s)

Elizabeth H. Oakes earned a B.A. in English literature at Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in creative writing at Eastern Washington University. She has worked as an editor, a teacher, and a writer, and she has written or produced 27 books, including International Encyclopedia of Women Scientists, Encyclopedia of World Scientists, A to Z of STS Scientists, and A to Z of Chemists, all from Facts On File.

Reviews and Awards

"...offers a convenient introduction and is a worthwhile purchase for public, high school, and undergraduate library collections."

"...accurate and readable..."
American Reference Books Annual

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