E. B. White: The Essayist as First-Class Writer

Hardcover | February 15, 2012

byG. Douglas Atkins

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This is the first book-length critical study of E. B. White, the American essayist and author of the beloved Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. Complementing On the Familiar Essay, this book is intended for anyone interested in White, the essay, or the expansion of the canon of American literature. G. Douglas Atkins focuses on White and 'the writing life', offering fresh, detailed readings of the major essays and revealing White's distinctiveness as an essayist due to his capacity for story-telling and his use of literary devices.

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This is the first book-length critical study of E. B. White, the American essayist and author of the beloved Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. Complementing On the Familiar Essay, this book is intended for anyone interested in White, the essay, or the expansion of the canon of American literature. G. Douglas ...

G. Douglas Atkins is a professor of English at the University of Kansas. He is the author and editor of more than a dozen books, including Reading T.S. Eliot: 'Four Quartets' and the Journey Towards Understanding; T.S. Eliot and the Essay; On the Familiar Essay: Challenging Academic Orthodoxies; and Literary Paths to Religious Underst...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:188 pages, 9.5 × 5.67 × 0.66 inPublished:February 15, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230340660

ISBN - 13:9780230340664

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Table of Contents


Coming into White Country *E. B. White and the Writing Life: Affirming Life's Newness and Joy *Of Nature, Maine, and Meaning:or, 'The Pageantry of Peas' and the Poetics of Adversity *Strange Bedfellows and Deconstruction of Oppositions: The 'Recording Secretary' Speaks His Mind on Politics *Looking for E. B. White *Reading 'Once More to the Lake'

Editorial Reviews

'Atkins makes a case not only for the clarity and congeniality of E. B. White's writing, but for what is often overlooked, his complexity. White was not just an old curmudgeon messing about with rats and pigs and spiders on his Maine farm; he was a significant thinker who reflected many key perspectives of the twentieth century: the fear of nuclear war, the need for urbanites to simplify their lives and get back in touch with gardening, the hazards of racism, New York City and its complications, illness, politics, and death. Atkins develops all of these themes and more in his analysis of White. But more than the subject matter, Atkins also opens discussions of White's style: his strengths, and even some of his weaknesses as a writer.'— Dr. Steven Faulkner, Longwood University