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Immigrant Experience In North American Literature, Vol. 4 written by Katherine B. Payant


Immigrant Experience In North American Literature, Vol. 4 written by Katherine B. Payant


Although many studies have been done of individual authors, at present few works exist which compare different immigrant literatures from the past and present. This work draws broad conclusions about the changes in American attitudes toward immigration and diverse cultures that are reflected in the literature. This book examines the representation of the immigrant experience in North American literature. Most of the chapters discuss the portrayal of particular ethnic groups by specific authors during a century of American and Canadian history. One essay highlights controversies among recent writers and critics concerning how their cultures should be portrayed, and the introductory and concluding essays provide historical, cultural, and literary contexts for a comparative approach to North American immigrant literature.

The expert contributors expose the reader to a variety of immigrant experiences in the literature of past and present, experiences in which the characters attempt to reconcile their ancestral heritage with that of their adopted land. Variations of three basic stances can be found in these works: the essentialist, rejecting the values of the dominant culture and resisting assimilation; the assimilationist, embracing the attitudes and behaviors of the new culture; and the hybridist, incorporating the old and new. The book additionally explores such topics as race, class, and gender, as well as the intergenerational conflict found in much immigrant literature.


Using current literary and cultural theory, expert contributors analyze a wide range of American literature reflecting the experience of European and non-western immigrant groups.


Focuses on literature that deals directly with the experience of immigrating to a new culture. Pays special attention to accounts of immigrants since 1965, most of whom have been non-European, to see if they differ from earlier depictions and if so how. Among the works examined are Jewish women's autobiography, Anzia Yezierska's , O. E. Rolvaag's , Jamaica Kincaid's , and Sandra Cisnero's . Versions of two of the 12 essays have been published previously. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)

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Title: Immigrant Experience In North American Literature, Vol. 4

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