New Book: The American Adrenaline Narrative

Author: Kristin J. Jacobson

The American Adrenaline Narrative

University of Georgia Press, 2020

The American Adrenaline Narrative considers the nature of perilous outdoor adventure tales, their gendered biases, and how they simultaneously promote and hinder ecological sustainability. To explore these themes, Kristin J. Jacobson defines and compares adrenaline narratives by a range of American authors published after the first Earth Day in 1970, a time frame selected as a watershed moment for the contemporary American environmental movement. The forty-plus years since that day also mark the rise in the popularity and marketing of many things as “extreme,” including sports, jobs, travel, beverages, gum, makeovers, laundry detergent, and even the environmental movement itself.

Jacobson maps the American eco-imagination via adrenaline narratives, grounding them in the traditional literary practice of close reading analysis and in ecofeminism. She surveys a range of popular and lesser-known primary texts by American authors, including best-selling books, such as Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Aron Ralston’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and lesser-known texts, such as Patricia C. McCairen’s Canyon Solitude, Eddy L. Harris’s Mississippi Solo, and Stacy Allison’s Beyond the Limits. She also discusses such narratives as they appear in print and online articles and magazines, feature-length and short films, television shows, amateur videos, social networking site posts, fiction, advertising, and blogs.

Jacobson contends that these stories constitute a distinctive genre because-unlike traditional nature, travel, and sports writing- adrenaline narratives sustain heightened risk or the element of the “extreme” within a natural setting. Additionally, these narratives provide important insight into the American environmental imagination’s connection to masculinity and adventure-knowledge that helps us grasp the current climate crisis and how narrative understanding provides a needed intervention.

This book is available for purchase from the University of Georgia Press website. The UGA Press is having a sale (50% off all titles, including The American Adrenaline Narrative) until June 30, 2020. Use code 08UGAP. They also offer free shipping on orders over $25 (

New Book: Love and Depth in the American Novel

Author: Ashley C. Barnes

Love and Depth in the American Novel from Stowe to James

University of Virginia Press, 2020

Love and Depth in the American Novel seeks to change how we think about the American love story and how we imagine the love of literature. By examining classics of nineteenth-century American literature, Ashley Barnes offers a new approach to literary theory that encompasses both New Historicism and the ethical turn in literary studies.

Couples like Huck and Jim and Ishmael and Queequeg have grounded the classic account of the American novel as exceptionally gothic and antisocial. Barnes argues instead for a model of shared intimacy that connects the evangelical sentimental best seller to the high art of psychological realism. In her reading of works by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Elizabeth Stoddard, Henry James, and others in the context of nineteenth-century Protestant-Catholic debates about how to know and love God, what emerges is an alternate tradition of the American love story that pictures intimacy as communion rather than revelation. Barnes uses that unacknowledged love story to propose a model of literary critical intimacy that depends on reading fiction in its historical context.

Love and Depth in the American Novel offers a fresh, original analysis of the nineteenth-century American novel. Ashley Barnes’s book is a genuinely remarkable study: it is original, insightful, and important. Especially timely are Barnes’s contributions to current debates about differing modes of reading, as well as her consideration of the Protestant nature of scholarly praxis, a contribution that extends the recent study of secularity into the academy itself. The book’s arguments—both broadly defined and within individual chapters—are sophisticated and intricate.” — Claudia Stokes, Trinity University, author of The Altar at Home: Sentimental Literature and Nineteenth-Century American Religion

“Beautifully written, authoritative, and engaging, this important book establishes an original frame for understanding nineteenth-century literature.” — Dawn Coleman, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, author of Preaching and the Rise of the American Novel

This book is available for purchase from the University of Virginia Press in digital and print formats.

New Book: Modern Sentimentalism by Lisa Mendelman

Author: Lisa Mendelman

Modern Sentimentalism: Affect, Irony, and Female Authorship in Interwar America

Oxford University Press, 2020

Modern Sentimentalism examines how American female novelists reinvented sentimentalism in the modernist period. Taking up icons such as the New Woman, the flapper, the free lover, the New Negro woman, and the divorcée, the book argues that these figures embody aspects of a traditional sentimentality while also recognizing sentiment as incompatible with ideals of modern selfhood. These double binds equally beleaguer the protagonists and shape the styles of writers like Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, Anita Loos, and Jessie Fauset. “Modern sentimentalism” thus translates nineteenth-century conventions of sincerity and emotional fulfillment into the skeptical, self-conscious modes of interwar cultural production.

“Mendelman’s book may be one of the most important studies of a generation of American literary scholarship. Mendelman’s method is rich, complicated, and nuanced: a fascinating combination of psychoanalytic, archival, print cultural, deconstructive, and formalist analyses.” — Mary Chapman, University of British Columbia

“Lisa Mendelman’s Modern Sentimentalismoffers a fresh, dynamic, and thoroughly convincing recasting of early twentieth-century fiction. In her retelling, formal moves associated with modernism such as irony and fragmentation bespeak not a rejection of the sentimental, but an analytic disposition toward it, shot through with unresolved attachment. This project makes room for a genuinely new and powerful category in literary criticism.” — Jennifer Fleisser, Indiana University 

This book is available for purchase from Oxford University Press, and you can use the code: AAFLYG6 for 30% off your purchase.

New Books: Faraway Women and the “Atlantic Monthly” by Cathryn Halverson

Author: Cathryn Halverson

Faraway Women and the “Atlantic Monthly”

University of Massachusetts Press, 2019

In the first decades of the twentieth century, famed Atlantic Monthly editor Ellery Sedgwick chose to publish a group of nontraditional writers he later referred to as “Faraway Women,” working-class authors living in the western United States far from his base in Boston. Cathryn Halverson surveys these enormously popular Atlantic contributors, among them a young woman raised in Oregon lumber camps, homesteaders in Wyoming, Idaho, and Alberta, and a world traveler who called Los Angeles and Honolulu home.

Faraway Women and the “Atlantic Monthly” examines gender and power as it charts an archival journey connecting the least remembered writers and readers of the time with one of its most renowned literary figures, Gertrude Stein. It shows how distant friends, patrons, publishers, and readers inspired, fostered, and consumed the innovative life narratives of these unlikely authors, and it also tracks their own strategies for seizing creative outlets and forging new protocols of public expression. Troubling binary categories of east and west, national and regional, and cosmopolitan and local, the book recasts the coordinates of early twentieth-century American literature. (from the publisher’s website)

This book is available for purchase from University of Massachusetts Press:

New Books: Trixy, a novel, edited by Emily E. VanDette

Edited by: Emily E. VanDette

Novel by: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps


Northwestern University Press, 2019

This book is available in print and digital formats:

Order the paperback edition of this title at a 25% discount on our website! Code: NUP19

From the Northwestern University Press website:

Trixy is a 1904 novel by the best-selling but largely forgotten American author and women’s rights activist Elizabeth Stuart Phelps. The book decries the then common practice of vivisection, or scientific experiments on live animals. In Trixy, contemporary readers can trace the roots of the early animal rights movement in Phelps’s influential campaign to introduce legislation to regulate or end this practice. Phelps not only presents a narrative polemic against the cruelty of vivisection but argues that training young doctors in it makes them bad physicians. Emily E. VanDette’s introduction demonstrates that Phelps’s protest writing, which included fiction, pamphlets, essays, and speeches, was well ahead of its time.”

New Books: Transatlantic Footholds: Turn-of-the-Century American Women Writers and British Reviewers

Author: Stephanie Palmer

Transatlantic Footholds: Turn-of-the-Century American Women Writers and British Reviewers

Routledge 2019

Transatlantic Footholds: Turn-of-the-Century American Women Writers and British Reviewers analyses British reviews of American women fiction writers, essayists and poets between the periods of literary domesticity and modernism. The book demonstrates that a variety of American women writers were intelligently read in Britain during this era. British reviewers read American women as literary artists, as women and as Americans. While their notion of who counted as “women” was too limited by race and class, they eagerly read these writers for insight about how women around the world were entering debates on women’s place, the class struggle, religion, Indian policy, childrearing, and high society. In the process, by reading American women in varied ways, reviewers became hybrid and dissenting readers. The taste among British reviewers for American women’s books helped change the predominant direction that high culture flowed across the Atlantic from east-to-west to west-to-east. Britons working in London or far afield were deeply invested in the idea of “America.” “America,” their responses prove, is a transnational construct.

Available for purchase from the publisher website:

New Books: Women Adapting: Bringing Three Serials of the Roaring Twenties to Stage and Screen

Author: Bethany Wood

Women Adapting: Bringing Three Serials of the Roaring Twenties to Stage and Screen

University of Iowa Press, 2019

Women Adapting examines three well-known stories that debuted as women’s magazine serials: Anita Loos’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, and Edna Ferber’s Show Boat. Through meticulous archival research, this study traces how each of these beloved narratives traveled across publishing, theatre, and film through adaptation. Bethany Wood documents the formation of adaptation systems and how they involved women’s voices and labor in modern entertainment in ways that have been previously underappreciated. What emerges is a picture of a unique window in time in the early decades of the twentieth century, when women in entertainment held influential positions in production and management.

Available for purchase here:

New Books: American Travel Literature, Gendered Aesthetics, and the Italian Tour, 1824-62

Author: Brigitte Bailey

American Travel Literature, Gendered Aesthetics, and the Italian Tour, 1824-62

Edinburgh University Press, 2018

American Travel Literature analyzes tourist writings about Italy from 1824 to 1862 to explain what roles transatlantic travel, aesthetic response and the genre of tourist writing played in the formation of the United States. The Italian tour and its textual and visual expressions were forms through which predominantly white, northeastern elites dreamed their way into national identity and cultural authority. Its interdisciplinary methodology draws on antebellum visual culture, tourist practices and shifting class and gender identities to describe tourism and tourist writing as shapers of an elite (and then normative) national subjectivity. Bringing perspectives from art history and aesthetics, it historicises aesthetic practices, illuminating the depth of Americans’ turn towards visual iconography in articulating social and national identities.

The book investigates tourists’ triangulations of the categories of ‘England’, ‘Italy’ and ‘America’, discusses authors understood as national representatives − Irving, Cooper, Sedgwick, Kirkland, Fuller, Hawthorne and Stowe − in the context of other US and European writers and artists and looks at transatlantic tourist writing as a significant genre of the period that shaped the nation.

Available in print and digital formats with paperback edition forthcoming September 1, 2019. Purchase here.

New Books: Chicago and the Main of American Modernism

Author: Michelle E. Moore

Chicago and the Making of American Modernism: Cather, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald in Conflict

Bloomsbury Academic, 2018



Chicago and the Making of American Modernism is the first full-length study of the vexed relationship between America’s great modernist writers and the nation’s “second city.” Michelle E. Moore explores the ways in which the defining writers of the era-Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald-engaged with the city and reacted against the commercial styles of “Chicago realism” to pursue their own, European-influenced mode of modernist art. Drawing on local archives to illuminate the literary culture of early 20th-century Chicago, this book reveals an important new dimension to the rise of American modernism.

The book contains chapters that reexamine the creation of the Little Room and explores Elia Peattie’s relationship to young Willa Cather. Chapter two tells the story of Harriet Monroe’s fight to create the “Columbian Ode.” It reveals Monroe’s battle to obtain and protect her copyright based on new archival evidence and contextualizes the fight against the backdrop of Chicago history.

Available in print and digital formats:


Liminality, Hybridity, & American Women’s Literature (Palgrave)

Liminality, Hybridity, & American Women’s Literature (Palgrave)
Eds. K. J. Jacobson, K. Allukian, R. Legleitner, L. Allison 

SPECIAL OFFER – Get 20% off the printed book or eBook on .

Use the following token on PM18TWENTY4 / Valid Nov 7, 2018 – Dec 5, 2018

You can purchase this collection inspired by the SSAWW 2015 conference theme with the discount code – HERE

This book highlights the multiplicity of American women’s writing related to liminality and hybridity from its beginnings to the contemporary moment. Often informed by notions of crossing, intersectionality, transition, and transformation, these concepts as they appear in American women’s writing contest as well as perpetuate exclusionary practices involving class, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, and sex, among other variables. The collection’s introduction, three unit introductions, fourteen individual essays, and afterward facilitate a process of encounters, engagements, and conversations within, between, among, and across the rich polyphony that constitutes the creative acts of American women writers. The contributors offer fresh perspectives on canonical writers as well as introduce readers to new authors. As a whole, the collection demonstrates American women’s writing is “threshold writing,” or writing that occupies a liminal, hybrid space that both delimits borders and offers enticing openings.