Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pg. 99: Peter Conn's "The American 1930s"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: The American 1930s: A Literary History by Peter Conn.

About the book, from the publisher:
Beginning with the stock market crash of 1929 and ending with America's entry into the Second World War, the long Depression decade was a period of immense social, economic and political turmoil. In response, writers as various as John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, Eugene O’Neill, Langston Hughes, Pearl S. Buck and others looked to the past to make sense of the present. In this important new study of the 1930s, the distinguished cultural historian Peter Conn traces the extensive and complex engagement with the past that characterized the imaginative writing of the decade. Moving expertly between historical events and literature, Conn includes discussions of historical novels, plays and poems, biographies and autobiographies, as well as factual and imaginary works of history. Mapping the decade’s extraordinary intellectual range with authority and flair, The American 1930s is a widely anticipated contribution to American literary studies.
Read an excerpt from The American 1930s: A Literary History, and learn more about the book at the Cambridge University Press website.

Peter Conn is Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. His publications include The Divided Mind: Ideology and Imagination in America, 1898-1917, and Literature in America, which was a main selection of Associated Book Clubs (UK). Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography, was chosen as a "New York Times Notable Book," was included among the five finalists for the National Book Critics Circle award in biography, and received the Athenaeum Award.

The Page 99 Test: The American 1930s.

--Marshal Zeringue