Significant Food
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Significant Food

Critical Readings to Nourish American Literature

Title Details

Pages: 310

Illustrations: 1 table

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 07/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6671-5

List Price: $34.95


Pub Date: 07/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6674-6

List Price: $34.95


Pub Date: 07/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6673-9

List Price: $34.95


Pub Date: 07/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6672-2

List Price: $114.95

Significant Food

Critical Readings to Nourish American Literature

A collection of critical essays that explore the role of food in American literature

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Contributors

Significant Food is a collaborative work of textual analysis and criticism that chews on the role and prominence of food in American literature. The volume offers close readings of many well-known, and some less well-known, examples of American writing, as studied through the food culture sensibilities of a well-stocked cupboard of contributors who offer their analyses for public consumption.

Editors Jeff Birkenstein and Robert C. Hauhart find that literary criticism has focused on the role food plays in literary production to a greater extent than recognized at first glance and that its role has become increasingly common only in the last two decades. Still, while there is critical commentary regarding authors’ use of food across the expanse of American literature, there has been a lack of a unifying critical theory to guide these analyses. Birkenstein and Hauhart offer the theory of “significant food”—a method that asks literary critics to evaluate and assess the extent, nature, and role that food plays in literary production. When food and “food moments” are used intensively and “significantly” within the drama, memoir, poem, novel, short story, or other writing, then one can say that it has achieved a status that makes it indispensable to the work at hand.

Significant Food is an interesting collection on food and eating in twentieth and twenty-first-century American literature. Its contributors collectively reveal that the alimentary has been put into a variety of uses.

—Maria Christou, author of Eating Otherwise: The Philosophy of Food in Twentieth-Century Literature

Significant Food offers critical readings of a refreshing mix of classic and contemporary texts, known and lesser-known ones, including genre fiction. The chapters offer new insights into fictional texts through the lens of food.

—Katharina Vester, author of A Taste of Power: Food and American Identities

Ericka Birkenstein

Anton Smith

Greg Hartley

Katy Lewis

Shelley A. Ingram

Sanghamitra Dalal

Méliné Kasparian-Le Fèvre

Molly Mann

Carrie Tippen

Rachel Fernandes

Edward Chamberlain

Mary-Lynn Chambers

Heidi Oberholtzer Lee

Rossitsa Terzieva-Artemis

Serena Demichelis

About the Author/Editor

Jeff Birkenstein (Editor)
JEFF BIRKENSTEIN is a professor of English at Saint Martin’s University. He has published seven coedited collections of essays to date, including Reframing 9/11: Film, Popular Culture and the “War on Terror,” American Writers in Exile, Social Justice and American Literature, and Influence in the Russian and American Short Story.

Robert C. Hauhart (Editor)
ROBERT C. HAUHART is a professor in the Department of Society and Social Justice at Saint Martin’s University. He is the author or coeditor of ten books and numerous published papers in sociology, law, literature, and education journals. He is the coeditor, with Jeff Birkenstein, of five volumes, including American Writers in Exile, Social Justice and American Literature, and European Writers in Exile.