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From Mary Rowlandson's story of her capture by Indians in the mid-seventeenth century to Mary Paik Lee's story of being a pioneer Korean woman in America at the beginning of the twentieth century, the autobiographical form has provided our most vivid, intimate glimpses of daily American life and self-understanding. In this groundbreaking anthology, respected writer and critic Jay Parini brings together an abundant selection from over three centuries of "the democratic voice ...discovering itself." Here are the voices of the Founding Fathers and African American slaves; of transcendentalists and suffragists; of ancestors such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Mark Twain, Henry James, Helen Keller, Zora Neale Hurston, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, James Baldwin, and many others; and of a wide range of contemporaries, including Maxine Hong Kingston, Gore Vidal, Julia Alvarez, and Mark Doty. The rich, continuous influence of autobiographical writing in our culture is clear, and as memoirs continue to fascinate readers, this invaluable anthology provides an essential guide to our foremost American literary tradition.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780393046779
ISBN-10: 039304677X
Format: Hardback
(236mm x 152mm x 40mm)
Pages: 720
Imprint: WW Norton & Co
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Publish Date: 11-Mar-1999
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Jay Parini

Jay Parini, a poet and novelist, teaches at Middlebury College. Parini's recent books include The Last Station, Benjamin's Crossing, and Some Necessary Angels: Essays on Writing and Politics. Gore Vidal (1925-2012) was an American novelist and critic. His recent books include his collected essays, United States, and a novel, The Smithsonian.

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