Critical Insights: Social Justice & American Literature

This volume, part of the Critical Insights series from Salem Press, explores the topic of social justice in American literature. Divided into two major sections, there are fifteen essays which discuss and dissect social justice as a topic within specific genres and books. These essays cover a wide range: post-Civil War rights black feminism in the works of June Jordan, Audre Lorde, and Alice Walker; Appalachian literature; the body as an embattled terrain in American literature; early indigenous American women's literature; hidden correspondence by Frederick Douglass to Anna Murray; William Dean Howells's A Hazard of New Fortunes; the "tragic mulatto" theme; western expansion in the writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Louise Erdrich; feminism, body policing, and women's suicide; early Philip Roth writings; social justice and legal cleavage in modern American literature; morality in the works of Walter Dean Myers; narrative in Chang-Rae Lee's Native Speaker; Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist; and women's dystopic fiction and Margaret Atwood. This eclectic group of essays truly provides an in-depth exploration of social justice in American literature.