Introduction to Literary Context: American Post-Modernist by Salem Press

By Salem Press

Creation to Literary Context: American Post-Modernist Novels presents richly precise essays on major American post-1960 novels which are studied through highschool and undergraduate students. This quantity comprises dialogue of 36 novels, together with: How the Garcia ladies misplaced Their accessory (Julia Alverez); woman, Interrupted (Susana Kaysan); The pink Tent (Anita Diamant); The Handmaid's story (Margaret Atwood); Neruomancer (William Gibson); The bare and the lifeless (Norman Mailer); loved (Toni Morrison); Zombie (Joyce Carol Oates); Rabbit Run (John Updike); and Jailbird (Kurt Vonnegut).

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11/10/13 2:38 PM The Bean Trees | 31 In her study of women’s road narratives, critic Deborah Clarke compares “The Bean Tree” to Bobbie Ann Mason’s “In Country” for its use of the automobile as marking a new symbolic connection to women’s freedom in the 1980s. She notes that in the twentieth century, women’s narratives opened up to include stories of travel, marking a move beyond traditional stories of house and home: “No longer relegated to waiting, women wrote increasingly about journeys, about mobility, and about the power inherent in this increased freedom.

When she returns to the bar where she had first seen Turtle, however, the bar has turned into a diner and there is no sign of anyone she’d seen before. Taylor realizes then that there “had never been the remotest possibility of finding any relative of Turtle’s” but that she had made this trip for a reason unknown to her: “I must have wanted something, and wanted it badly” (203). She decides to go to Lake o’ the Cherokees, a scenic area on the reservation, without really knowing why. While they are there, Taylor connects Turtle’s love of burying with her cries of “Mama” when she sees a cemetery.

2005. For Further Study Frye, Bob J. 2: 73–83. Murrey, Loretta Martin. 1-2: 155–64. Ryan, Maureen. 4: 77–83. indd 35 11/10/13 2:38 PM 36 | Introduction to Literary Context: American Post-Modernist Novels Discussion Questions 1. What makes Taylor Greer different from her peers in Pittman, Kentucky? Why is she “the one to get away”? 2. Discuss the various ways in which motherhood is depicted in the novel. What characteristics are echoed throughout each depiction? How does each relationship serve to characterize Taylor’s relationship with Turtle?

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