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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'I can’t remember when I read anything that moved me quite this way, besides the work of Toni Morrison.’ Oprah Winfrey 'Mathis traces the fates of Hattie’s 12 children and grandchildren over the course of the 20th century . . . [it] is remarkable.' Sunday Times 'Ms. Mathis has a gift for imbuing her characters’ stories with an epic dimension that recalls Toni Morrison’s writing.' New York Times Fifteen years old and blazing with the hope of a better life, Hattie Shepherd fled the horror of the American South on a dawn train bound for Philadelphia. Hattie’s is a tale of strength, of resilience and heartbreak that spans six decades. Her American dream is shattered time and again: a husband who lies and cheats and nine children raised in a cramped little house that was only ever supposed to be temporary. She keeps the children alive with sheer will and not an ounce of the affection they crave. She knows they don’t think her a kind woman — but how could they understand that all the love she had was used up in feeding them and clothing them. How do you prepare your children for a world you know is cruel? The lives of this unforgettable family form a searing portrait of twentieth century America. From the revivalist tents of Alabama to Vietnam, to the black middle-class enclave in the heart of the city, to a filthy bar in the ghetto, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is an extraordinary, distinctive novel about the guilt, sacrifice, responsibility and heartbreak that are an intrinsic part of ferocious love.
A vibrant history of the renowned and often controversial Iowa Writers' Workshop and its celebrated alumni and faculty As the world's preeminent creative writing program, the Iowa Writers' Workshop has produced an astonishing number of distinguished writers and poets since its establishment in 1936. Its alumni and faculty include twenty-eight Pulitzer Prize winners, six U.S. poet laureates, and numerous National Book Award winners. This volume follows the program from its rise to prominence in the early 1940s under director Paul Engle, who promoted the "workshop" method of classroom peer criticism. Meant to simulate the rigors of editorial and critical scrutiny in the publishing industry, this educational style created an environment of both competition and community, cooperation and rivalry. Focusing on some of the exceptional authors who have participated in the program--such as Flannery O'Connor, Dylan Thomas, Kurt Vonnegut, Jane Smiley, Sandra Cisneros, T. C. Boyle, and Marilynne Robinson--David Dowling examines how the Iowa Writers' Workshop has shaped professional authorship, publishing industries, and the course of American literature.
The middlebrow is a dominant cultural force in the twenty-first century. This book defines the new literary middlebrow through eight key features: middle class, feminized, reverential, commercial, emotional, recreational, earnest and mediated. Case studies include Oprah's Book Club, the Man Booker Prize and the Harry Potter phenomenon.

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