Critical Survey of American Literature

At A Glance

6 Volumes
3,000 Pages
400 Essays
Category List, Author & Title Index
Discussion Topics

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December 2016 · 6 volumes · 3,000 pages

Includes Online Database
with Print Purchase
ISBN: 978-1-68217-128-8
# of Pages: 3,000
# of Volumes: 6
Print List Price: $499
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e-ISBN: 978-1-68217-147-9
eBook Single User Price: $499

Critical Survey of American Literature
An indispensible guide to over 400 authors, with in-depth analyses of their significant works of fiction, drama, nonfiction, young adult literature, and poetry.

The new edition of Critical Survey of American Literature, previously published as Magill's Survey of American Literature in 2006, offers detailed profiles of major American authors of fiction, drama, and poetry, each with sections on biography, general analysis, and analysis of the author's most important works.

This new edition features over 100 new entries focusing on contemporary American authors at the core of literary studies, including Jeffrey Eugenides, Aldous Huxley, David Foster Wallace, Donna Tartt, Suzanne Collins, Rick Riordan, Veronica Roth, Lois Lowry, E.B. White, Michael Chabon, Jhumpa Lahiri, Nora Ephron, John Krakauer, E.L. James, David Sedaris and many more. 

Arranged in an easy-to-use A-Z format, each entry in Critical Survey of American Literature begins with important ready-reference material including Name, Birth & Death Dates and a statement explaining the writer's literary importance. 

Entries offer complete coverage of the author's life and significant works, including:
Biography - a chronological overview of the author's life.
Analysis - a discussion about the author's style, dominant themes, and literary characteristics.
Works - profiles one or more individual titles (novels, novellas, plays, poems, short stories, essays).
Summary - one or two brief paragraphs summarizing the author's legacy.
Bibliography - By the Author lists both the author's work in all genres and About the Author highlights sources for further study.
Discussion Topics - address such topics as the writer's body of work, specific works, or life as it relates to his or her literature. Intended for students, teachers and members of reading groups, they can be used as paper topics or conversation points.

Four helpful elements help users navigate through the text, including a Category List that groups authors by genre, country, gender and ethnic identity, a Author and Title Index, plus a Glossary that defines crucial literary terms.

Free Online Access!

For the first time ever, buyers of the Critical Survey of American Literature get free online access to the content on

The Critical Survey of American Literature combines biography and critical analysis of the most important contemporary and historic figures and works in American Literature. This important resource offers students and researchers with an easy-to-use source to help them embark on research in literary studies.