This collection of eleven essays on Algren's major work offers a diverse and lively range of theoretical and historical readings. These include discussions of Algren's place in Chicago's left-wing literary tradition, the aesthetic of American and European naturalism, and his reaction to, and reception in, the Cold War milieu of the 1940s and 1950s. Consideration is also given to the ways in which paperback cover designs shaped the reception of Algren's novels as pulp fiction. Algren's works are further illuminated by the theories of Walter Benjamin, and those associated with confinement, autobiography, post-colonialism, and the cultural politics of American carnival. The volume is supplemented by a piece that traces the birth and growth of the Algren archive at Ohio State University.
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