Join us for a book launch of Writing America by Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Copies of Writing America will be available for purchase and signed by Shelley Fisher Fishkin after the program.
“Writing America is a triumph of scholarship and passion, a profound exploration of the many worlds which comprise our national canon . . . a book that redraws the literary map of the United States.” —Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Published on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Historic Preservation Act, Writing America is a unique, passionate, and eclectic series of meditations on literature and history, covering over 150 important National Register historic sites, all pivotal to the stories that make up America, from chapels to battlefields; from plantations to immigration stations; and from theaters to internment camps.
The book considers not only the traditional sites for literary tourism, such as Mark Twain's sumptuous Connecticut home and the peaceful woods surrounding Walden Pond, but also locations that highlight the diversity of American literature, from the New York tenements that spawned Abraham Cahan's fiction to the Texas pump house that irrigated the fields in which the farm workers central to Gloria Anzaldúa's poetry picked produce.
Rather than just providing a cursory overview of these authors' achievements, acclaimed literary scholar and cultural historian Shelley Fisher Fishkin offers a deep and personal reflection on how key sites bore witness to the struggles of American writers and inspired their dreams. She probes the global impact of American writers' innovative art and also examines the distinctive contributions to American culture by American writers who wrote in languages other than English, including Yiddish, Chinese, and Spanish.
Read more about the book and the author's writing process in this interview by Inside Higher Ed.