The Cambridge companion to the literature of World War II

Corporate Author: Cambridge collections online.
Other Authors: MacKay, Marina, 1975-
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, c2009.
Series: Cambridge companions to literature.
Online Access: Online version
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Review by Choice Review

Often overshadowed by literature of the so-called Great War, the writing of WW II is varied and important, as this book reveals. Mackay (Washington Univ., St. Louis) groups the 15 essays by as many authors in three sections: "Anglo-American Texts and Contexts," "Global Perspectives," and "Approaches and Revisions." The last may be the most interesting to scholars, but, like other volumes in the "Cambridge Companions to Literature" series, the volume is generally strong. Leo Mellor's piece on war journalism in English is an early standout. As literary histories, some essays reach little beyond what one might find in an encyclopedia entry, and readers familiar with, for example, the US war novel or British WW II poetry will find the material superficial. The essays discussing writing from non-English-speaking participants in WW II have the advantage of treating work that may be unfamiliar to the majority of readers. The book's final section enjoys a similar advantage: Gill Plain on women's writing, Phyllis Lassner on Holocaust writing, Lyndsey Stonebridge on trauma, and Petra Rau on the war in contemporary fiction are all stimulating pieces that avoid the rapid overview that is the weakness of some of the other contributions. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers. B. Diemert Brescia University College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.