By Robert Rebein
Eschewing allegiance to specific literary events, Robert Rebein deals a intelligent topographical map of up to date American fiction. Rebein argues that a lot literary fiction of the Eighties and 90s represents a victorious, if tortured, go back to questions about position and the person who encouraged the works of Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Faulkner, and different giants of yankee literature. focusing on the realist bent and neighborhood orientation in modern fiction, he discusses intimately many of the names wherein this fiction has been defined, together with literary post-modemism, minimalism, Hick stylish, soiled Realism, ecofeminism, and extra. Rebein's in actual fact written, nuanced inter-pretations of works by means of Raymond Carver, Cormac McCarthy, Don DeLillo, Louise Erdrich, Dorothy Allison, Barbara Kingsolver, E. Annie Proulx, Chris Offutt, and others will entice a variety of readers.
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Additional info for Hicks, Tribes, and Dirty Realists: American Fiction after Postmodernism
Holly, a backup singer who "sometimes records" (8), is divorced. However, she still sees her ex-husband; they "sit around and depress each other" (11). The narrator, for her part, is a travel agent (no real details are given), but she 38 / Hicks, Tribes, and Dirt) Realists hopes only to hold this job "until my parents die" (8). The men in the storythe "beach guys," Holly's ex-husband, the blind date who is about to arrivehover over these tiny details in an ominous way, and yet it is difficult to pinpoint the reason for this.
They are from Kentucky or Alabama or Oregon, but, mainly, they could just about be from 41 42 / Hicks, Tribes, and Dirty Realists anywhere: drifters in a world cluttered with junk food and the oppressive details of modern consumerism. (4) On a purely technical level, the new fiction was indeed minimalist ("unadorned," "unfurnished"), but it was also realist insofar as it dealt with a specific class of people (the working class) living in specific places (Kentucky, Alabama, Oregon) holding down specific jobs (construction, ranch work, waitressing).
This is the Carver who is remembered as the Last of the Nonliterary Literary Men, heir to a heroic tradition that includes Melville, Twain, Hemingway, and above all Jack London, whose No Mentor But Myself philosophy defines the myth almost as much as the requisite lack of college credits. Visit any of the unlikely places where the dream of becoming a writer still somehow manages to take root in this country, from rural truck stops to urban unemployment offices, and you will hear ofthis Carver: how he persevered and by dint of hard work turned all of his most glaring weaknesses into strengths, how he survived to beat the odds.