American Literature 74.2 (2002) 445-451
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Dreams and Thunder: Stories, Poems, and "The Sun Dance Opera." By Zitkala-Sa. Ed. P. Jane Hafen. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press. 2001. xxiv, 171 pp. $22.95.
Zitkala-Sa (Red Bird), also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, published two volumes of native stories and myths and was also a musician and an activist during her lifetime (1876–1938). This volume presents her previously unpublished stories and poems as well as the libretto to The Sun Dance Opera, which she cowrote with William Hanson.
Yrs, Ever Affly: The Correspondence of Edith Wharton and Louis Bromfield. Ed. Daniel Bratton. East Lansing: Michigan State Univ. Press. 2000. xlix, 164 pp. $39.95.
In the first letter in this collection, Bromfield writes Wharton that he is "delighted to have news of you and the garden," a greeting that encapsulates the focus in their correspondence on not only the events in their lives but also their love of horticulture. This volume includes letters that cover the conventional topics of conversation between writers—publishing, travel, and literature—but a highlight of the volume is the discussions of gardening as well as photographs and drawings of the writers' favorite gardens. Beautifully illustrated, this is an atypical entry into the genre of literary correspondence.
The Influence of Political Events on Nathaniel Hawthorne's Political Vision and Writings. By Kathleen P. Colgan. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen. 2001. xiii, 302 pp. $99.95.
Using literary analysis as well as theory, Kathleen Colgan seeks to "investigate and describe, in the context of political theory, those principles of [conservative] political philosophy which have defined and directed Hawthorne's attitudes towards reform principles so intrinsic to [his] works" as to suggest a distinct political philosophy. [End Page 445]
"No Struggle, No Progress": Frederick Douglass and His Proverbial Rhetoric for Civil Rights. By Wolfgang Mieder. New York: Peter Lang. 2001. vii, 532 pp. $75.95.
This volume indexes Frederick Douglass's use of proverbial language and folk speech in his discussions of slavery, abolition, and human rights. In the first hundred pages, Mieder provides an analysis of folk speech in Douglass's work; the second half of the volume is an index of Douglass's speeches and writing, organized alphabetically by key word.
First Books: The Printed Word and Cultural Formation in Early Alabama. By Philip D. Beidler. Tuscaloosa: Univ. of Alabama Press. 1999. ix, 185 pp. $34.95.
In this contribution to antebellum studies, Beidler argues that Alabama developed its literary, political, and cultural identity through the production of its early-nineteenth-century books. In the "first books" of Alabama citizenship, writers constructed satirical and epic histories of the state's formation, produced anti-abolition and women's education tracts, and conceived other works for the elite of Alabama society, which served as acts of myth making for the state.
Kate Chopin: A Literary Life. By Nancy A. Walker. New York: Palgrave. 2001. x, 170 pp. $45.00.
Walker examines the dynamic relationship between Chopin's life and her art. Situating Chopin among her fellow nineteenth-century women writers, Walker discusses the importance of place—domestic and geographical—to Chopin, who was known for her "local color" pieces. She also directs attention to Chopin's entire body of work, with a chapter on her first novel, At Fault, one on The Awakening, and one on the writing of her last four years.
Onoto Watanna: The Story of Winnifred Eaton. By Diana Birchall. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press. 2001. xxii, 252 pp. $29.95.
In an inspired marketing ploy, Winnifred Eaton, herself half-British and half-Chinese, adopted a Japanese pen name and public persona. "If she was not the divine writer who could stun the world with the éclat of her prose [as the author of fifteen novels, numerous screenplays, and hundreds of stories]," writes Birchall, her granddaughter, "she was a canny marketer, a desperate poseur, and an adventurer, a young woman who embodied the early-twentieth-century Horatio Alger attributes of pluck and spunk, because she had nothing to lose." [End Page 446]
Edith Wharton in Context: Essays on...