This is an exceedingly interesting approach to an anthology which comprises thirty nine selections from American moderns,...

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TAKEN AT THE FLOOD: The Human Drama as seen by Modern Novelists

This is an exceedingly interesting approach to an anthology which comprises thirty nine selections from American moderns, from Dreiser to Carson McCullers, spanning the years 1920-45. And yet-where many would find themselves bogged down in embarrassment of riches, she has achieved what she set out to do, she has given one a sense of emotional unity, and at the same time has avoided the danger of preoccupation with one phase, one angle. Whether or not she has achieved a further purpose of reflecting the whole of life depends largely on the contribution made by the reader. Her introductory notes are masterpieces of crystallization,-sometimes in the form of brief biographical notes, where the man is the salient point; more often in the form of a weighing of the work and the place the specific selection takes in it; or again a precis of the work from which the selection is made, in order to show it against that setting. Her choices show a high level of readability; there is poignant human drama, there is regional material, there is disillusion, there is humor -- but no one type outweighs the others. The authors represented do not give us a full cast of America's writers, but each in his or her way is representative of the period, and the obvious names are there,-Hemingway, Wolfe, Faulkner, Dos Passos, Steinbeck, Rawlings, Lewis, Richter, and so on. I found myself reading one after another-though my original intention had been to be satisfied with the Table of Contents. Much was familiar in recall; much was new. The book should have long term value for students of writing-and of American literature.

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 1946

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1946