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9780060198152 A classic reference work originally published forty years ago, The Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature is an irresistable guide to nearly everything there is to know about American literature. The thousands of entries, contributed by more than 130 scholars, include biographies of novelists, playwrights, poets and critics, summaries of books and plays, descriptions of characters, definitions of literary terms and movements, and much more. Featuring hundreds of longer essays on broad topics of interest such as Native American Prose and Poetry, Jewish American Literature, Humor in the United States, and Motion Pictures, the REAL is an authoritative and engrossing-- and often quirky -- guide to American life and the canon in all its variety and vigor. This new edition, the first since 1991, has added 300 new writers who have come to prominence in the last decade, from Amy Tan and E. Annie Proulx to Oscar Hijuelos, Paul Auster, David Guterson, and many more. Over 1300 existing entries have been revised and updated in light of recent scholarship.