This collection of bibliographic essays is designed to serve as a reference to the existing commentary and scholarship on the main forms of past and present popular literature. It consists of essays on many of the popular genres including detective and mystery novels, Westerns, science fiction, romance and gothic novels, comic books, and writing for children and young adults. Each essay surveys the historic development of the genre and presents a critical guide to the reference works on the subject. Also included are a discussion of research centers and collections of primary and secondary materials, an evaluative overview of criticism on the subject, and a checklist of works cited and journals in the field. This is the first volume to provide bibliographic access to information about the major forms of popular literature in the United States. Increasing reader demand for these popular genres and the growing trend whereby writers of serious fiction are 'crossing over' into science fiction, murder mysteries, and other popular forms are making it increasingly difficult to distinguish between serious and popular literature. Accordingly, the growing appeal of popular fiction is best understood when placed within the larger context of American literature and culture.