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Monday, April 05, 2010


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Thank your for your commentary and for drawing attention to the excellent work of Andrew Cayton and many others. The creative work and scholarship is much richer and more fully developed than you were able to specify in a brief commentary.

Would you please invite your colleagues and readers to join the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature for its 40th annual meeting at Michigan State University May 13-15 2010. Details at http://www.ssml.org

Please add to your site's bibliography the SSML's major contribution to our Midwestern Identity: Philip A. Greasley, editor, Dictionary of Midwestern Literature: The Authors, Indiana University Press, 2001.

At the risk of appearing immodest, I also invite you read contributions to my blog on midwestern literature at http://blogs.valpo.edu/midwestlit/. Your colleagues and readers who like movies may want to click on the "Film" link and scroll down to the first entry - a list of 75 or so films by and about midwesterners.

I think for a magic realism take on the urban Midwest, on Chicago, there is Stuart Dybek and his short story collections ("The Coast of Chicago" and "Childhood and Other Neighborhoods".

It seems Midwest Lit is mostly rural, though?

There is also a short story by William Gass that captures a certain Midwest feel, "In The Heart of the Heart of the Country". For the dark side of small town Midwest don't forget the Spoon River Antholgy, which seems Midwest in form...the spare, laconic blank verse...as well as in subject.

As a Cheesehead, I'd add Anthony Bukoski to the list. His work may be heavily Polish-American but it deals with the Midwest and the sense of place to a large extent.

Let's not forget Gwendolyn Brooks and Richard Wright; two great American writers from Chicago.

Michael Perry's books humorously illuminate that sense of displacement and pangs of reentry upon returning to the Midwest.

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