Steve King

Mark Twain, ETC

A History of American Literature

By

Blackwell 912pp £65hbk £19.99pbk order from our bookshop

Writing this book cannot have been easy. Just piclung it up is not easy. It is a whopping great tome. Yet Richard Gray’s real achievement is somehow to have compressed more than 400 years of thrillingly rich literary history between two covers. The multi-authored Cambrid’g, e History of American Literature runs to eight fat volumes. At less than 920 pages, Gray’s history is, by comparison, a triumph of brevity.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,
    • 'Macfarlane is a poet with the instincts of a thriller writer, an autodidact in botany, mycology, geology and palae… ,
    • 'Some scholars attribute Shakespeare’s pre-eminence to four centuries of propaganda and not to the fact that Hamlet… ,
    • RT : We would appreciate any retweets ,
    • We've just stumbled on a gem from the LR archive. The emoluments page from May 1995, in which one reviewer asked to… ,
    • Unlike Mary Shelley's monstrous creation, Jeanette Winterson's Frankenstein-inspired novel feels 'barely alive', sa… ,