The Encyclopedia of American Literature gathers together 350 essays from over 190 leading scholars on the whole of American literature, from European discovery to the present. At the core of theEncyclopedia lie 250 essays on poets, playwrights, essayists, and novelists. Figures such as Whitman, Melville, Faulkner, Frost, and Morrison are discussed in detail with each examined in the context of his or her times, an assessment of the writer’s current reputation, a bibliography of major works, and a list of major critical and biographical works about the writer.

Fifty entries on major works such as Moby DickSong of MyselfWaldenThe Great GatsbyThe Waste LandTheir Eyes Were Watching GodDeath of a Salesman, and Beloved place the work in its historical context and offer a range of possibilities with regard to critical approach. The Encyclopediaalso contains essays on literary movements, periods, and themes, pulling together a broad range of information and making connections between them.

Each entry has its own primary and annotated secondary bibliography, and a system of cross-references helps readers locate information with ease. The Encyclopedia of American Literature is an outstanding reference source for students studying authors, or particular pieces of literature; libraries looking for one comprehensive source; and readers interested in American literature, its authors, and its connection with various areas of study.