The beleaguered Joad family of Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath struggled in an era of disappointed dreams and empty pockets. But how might the grandchildren of that Dust Bowl generation fare in today's more promising times? In this book Alvin Kernan sends various descendants of the original Joad family on a postmodern journey out of California and into the excesses of American culture at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The experiences of today's Joads are as hilarious as they are discomfiting: they encounter in Kernan's America a world of democracy gone haywire and social institutions in perplexing disarray.
Kernan s many years of reading and teaching the works of the English Renaissance satirists have furnished him with a strong sense of the ridiculous and the conviction that absurd human behavior must be identified and attacked. In these ten fables all the familiar permutations of the me culture are introduced,examined,and skewered. Kernan leaves no sacred cow unslaughtered.
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Title: The Fruited Plain: Fables for a Postmodern Democracy
Author: Alvin Kernan
Publisher: Yale University Press
Date Published: April 2002
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