About the BookThe present book attempts to bring before the reading public an in-depth analysis of the literary scenario of 19th century America, focusing mainly on diverse literary talents—from men of letters like Emerson and Thoreau, to novelists like Hawthorne and Melville, to the prophetic vision of Whitman.
The period being one of the richest in American history, saw the flowering of a rare breed of Humanism where an all out attempt was made to understand the egoistic and altruistic motives in man. Transcendentalism was the crowning glory of such an attempt. While the dark shadow of Puritanism cast over Hawthorne’s fiction an uneasy shadow, Melville passionately denounced in fictional terms the duplicity of what he termed as ‘Divine Depravity’. Whitman celebrated the word en-masse or the Divine Average. Thoreau likewise walked past the Walden pond with a naturalistic zeal attempting to come to terms with “nature red in tooth and claw”.
The book attempts to wade through a bewildering literary maze in an attempt to highlight not merely the literary figures of the age, their celebrated works, but also the reasons behind the flowering of genius. Replete with in-depth critical research, the present book will serve as an ideal reference book on American Literature. Both students and teachers of the subject will find it equally useful and indispensable.About the Author/sDr Sujata Gurudev is Reader and Head of the Dept. of English, North Eastern Hill University Tura Campus. Her area of specialization is Modern Fiction Studies and American Literature. She is presently engaged in a team project, profiling the problems of English learners in the Garo Hills. She is likewise engaged in translating the Nav-Ratri into English free style verse. In addition to American Literature: Studies on Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville and Whitman, her other book that deserves mention is The Fiction of D.H. Lawrence.