The discussion of The Afterlife, for example, examines the theme's earliest known occurrences in ancient Mesopotamia and compares them with those in Greek, Aztec, Norse, and other ancient cultures, as well as with contemporary views from Innuit and Polynesian cultures. A glossary provides concise definitions of recurring terms. A list of suggested readings on these topics will further aid students who desire to deepen their knowledge of world mythology.
LORENA STOOKEY is Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she teaches course in mythology, poetry, and literature. She is the author of Louise Erdrich: A Critical Companion (Greenwood 1999).
This study begins with a fascinating biographical account, tracing early influences in Louise Erdrich's life. The subsequent chapter discusses Erdrich's place in literary tradition, as a novelist, a poet, and a storyteller. It also offers lucid analysis of how Erdrich skillfully manages to reconcile traditional and experimental approaches to the construction of her novels. A full chapter then examines each novel in terms of literary style, plot, character development, and theme. Alternate critical approaches to Erdrich's writing are also given for each of her six major works to date. A bibliography and lists of general criticism, biographical sources, and reviews complete this volume, making it an indispensable resource for any reader seeking to develop a greater understanding of Erdrich's writings.
Following a biographical chapter, the genre chapter examines the ways in which Cook's medical thriller incorporates plotting conventions and strategies borrowed from such popular literary genres as the science fiction novel, the murder mystery, and the gothic romance. Each novel is then examined in a separate chapter with subsections on plot, character, and theme. Stookey also offers an alternative critical approach to the novel, which gives the reader another perspective from which to read and discuss the text. A complete bibliography of Cook's fiction, general criticism and biographical sources, and listings of reviews of each novel complete the work. The only study of one of America's most popular contemporary novelists, read by adults and young adults alike, this is a key purchase for schools and public libraries.