a good resource for midwestern literature

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a good resource for midwestern literature

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Jan 17, 2010, 1:21pm

I haven't seen this book, but I think it's one I'm going to put on my wishlist: The Dictionary of Midwestern Literature, Volume One. This is the first of a proposed 3-volume set. This one surveys the lives and writings of nearly 400 midwestern authors.

Has anyone used this book, read it, taught from it?

Jan 17, 2010, 6:16pm

I've never heard of it, but it sounds intriguing! I wonder if my local library has it ...

Jan 19, 2010, 3:19pm

I've never heard of it either but it sounds interesting.

Edited: Jan 19, 2010, 3:32pm

This is one of my favorite things to do when I get a recommendation here on LT (e.g., labwriter's rec of The Dictionary of Midwestern Literature, Volume One):

1. Click on the "touchstoned" title in this message.
2. Choose WorldCat from the Quick Links on the right of the page.
3. Click on the appropriate (or only) edition.
4. Once in WorldCat, you can enter your zipcode and it will give you the libraries holding the work sorted by closest to your zipcode.

Doing this tells me that we (UMSL), St. Louis U., Washington U., and all three major public library systems own this already! That reinforces the recommendation.

Jan 20, 2010, 11:21am

I learned something new (and dangerous) today! Thanks Fugitive!

Jan 20, 2010, 11:28am

Ditto - I had no idea that feature existed.

Jan 20, 2010, 7:17pm

>4 fugitive:. Brilliant! That's why I love librarians.

Jan 22, 2010, 4:59pm

Agreed. Brilliant, new, dangerous. Fugitive: Thank you!

Next level would be to let LibraryThing permit users' libraries to function similarly within WorldCat (given users permissions, of course). Then we could arrange loans, trades, etc. But, that's going to involve a lot of work (security, confidentiality, etc.) and generate some risk. Still, I'm allowed to be PollyAnnish, no?

Jan 22, 2010, 5:04pm

Wow--simply wow. My "used" copy of Dictionary of Midwestern Literature came today in the mail. I don't think it was ever touched by a reader's hand, and I got it for a very reasonable price. It's a beautiful book. This volume is about "The Authors," and is the first of a projected series about Midwestern writing. If I were still studying English Lit in college, I would take this book to the department head (here in St. Louis) and demand that they offer a class in Midwestern Lit. I may email him anyway and "suggest" that someone work up a class if they haven't already. They offer Irish lit but not Midwestern lit. What's wrong with that picture--not that there's anything wrong with Irish lit, but I think, since the university is smack-dab in the American Midwest, then they ought to offer at least a course. With this book as a reference, working up such a class would be a lot of fun.

Anywho, I'm looking forward to using this book to ferret (today's favorite word) out some good Midwestern lit that I otherwise would have missed.

Mar 2, 2010, 3:45pm

Thanks, fugitive, for the WorldCat tip. I found two that are within 15 miles of my location. I will definitely make use of it. I've used WorldCat before. I saw it in the nav panel but never clicked on it. I think it will be getting a good workout from this group from now on.