Taking in novelists from all over the globe, from the beginning of the century to the present day, this is the most comprehensive survey of the leading lights of twentieth century fiction. Superb breadth of coverage and over 800 entries by an international team of contributors ensures that this fascinating and wide-ranging work of reference will be invaluable to anyone with an interest in modern fiction. Authors included range from Joseph Conrad to Albert Camus and Franz Kafka to Chinua Achebe. Who's Who of Twentieth Century Novelists gives a superb insight into the richness and diversity of the twentieth century novel.
A deeply considered and provocative new look at major American writers—including Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, and W.H. Auden—Edward Mendelson’s Moral Agents is also a work of critical biography in the great tradition of Plutarch, Samuel Johnson, and Emerson. Any important writer, in Mendelson’s view, writes in response to an idea of the good life that is inseparable from the life the writer lives. Fusing biography and criticism and based on extensive new research, Moral Agents presents challenging new portraits of eight writers—novelists, critics, and poets—who transformed American literature in the turbulent twentieth century. Eight sharply distinctive individuals—inspired, troubled, hugely ambitious—who reimagined what it means to be a writer. There’s Saul Bellow, a novelist determined to rule as a patriarch, who, having been neglected by his father, in turn neglected his son in favor of young writers who presented themselves as his literary heirs. Norman Mailer’s extraordinary ambition, suppressed insecurity, and renegade metaphysics muddled the novels through which he hoped to change the world, yet these same qualities endowed him with an uncanny sensitivity and deep sympathy to the pathologies of American life that make him an unequaled political reporter. William Maxwell wrote sad tales of small-town life and surrounded himself with a coterie of worshipful admirers. As a powerful editor at The New Yorker, he exercised an enormous and constraining influence on American fiction that is still felt today. Preeminent among the critics is Lionel Trilling, whose Liberal Imagination made him a celebrity sage of the anxiously tranquilized 1950s, even as his calculated image of Olympian reserve masked a deeply conflicted life and contributed to his ultimately despairing worldview. Dwight Macdonald, by contrast, was a haute-WASP anarchist and aesthete driven by an exuberant moral commitment, in a time of cautious mediocrity, to doing the right thing. Alfred Kazin, from a poor Jewish émigré background, remained an outsider at the center of literary New York, driven both to escape from and do justice to the deepest meanings of his Jewish heritage. Perhaps most intriguing are the two poets, W.H. Auden and Frank O’Hara. Early in his career, Auden was tempted to don the mantle of the poet as prophet, but after his move from England to America he lived and wrote in a spirit of modesty and charity born out of a deeply idiosyncratic understanding of Christianity. O’Hara, tireless partygoer and pioneering curator at MoMA, wrote much of his poetry for private occasions. Its lasting power has proven to be something different from its avant-garde reputation: personal warmth, individuality, rootedness in ancient traditions, and openness to the world.
Contains over six hundred entries that provide biographical and bibliographical information about each of the world's Nobel Prize winners from 1901 through 1995; grouped in the categories of chemistry, medicine and physiology, economics, physics, literature, and peace, with name, education, nationality, and religion indexes.