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An American Mosaic: Prose and Poetry for Everyday Folk

by Wolf, Robert E Koloc, Bonnie

  • ISBN: 9780195127126
  • ISBN10: 0195127129

An American Mosaic: Prose and Poetry for Everyday Folk

by Wolf, Robert E Koloc, Bonnie

  • List Price: $24.95
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780195127126
  • ISBN10: 0195127129
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Description: From Walt Whitman's catalog of America to Thomas Hart Benton's American epics painted on walls across the country to Studs Terkel's documentaries, much artistic and literary tabor has stemmed from the urge to figure out what makes this country tick. Any attempt at so large a canvas as this disparate country will be fragmented and incomplete, but like Benton's 1932 mural "America Today", American Mosaic is composed of pieces that taken together provide a vivid look at vanishing scenes of American life.

Here, Robert Wolf offers a collective autobiography of the American heartland written for the most part by everyday men and women without literary ambition. Focusing on the second half of the twentieth century, this collection of essays, short stories, poems, and memoirs -- woven together with Wolf's introductory notes -- is the culmination of nine years of Free River Press writing workshops conducted by Wolf for the purpose of documenting contemporary American life.

The volume includes work from homeless men and women from Tennessee, small farmers in rural Iowa, residents of Midwestern small towns, the Mississippi Delta, and river communities on the Mississippi. These first-person, eyewitness accounts offer glimpses of daily life: the farmers' struggles against large corporations; poetic meditations on life in the streets, on the mad, and in prison; tall tales of river town saloons; and the social rituals of cooking, town hall and party phone lines across America's small towns.

Together, these diverse stories comprise panels of a literary mural. of America. American Mosaic is a compelling testament to regional and local American voices and folkways which are fast disappearingthrough the relentless push towards a global economy and culture.

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