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Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare's many classics; yet the play remains the most puzzling of all. It's popular but challenging: thus the need for John R. Ford 's TWELFTH NIGHT: A GUIDE TO THE PLAY (0313317003 $75.00), which joins others in the 'Greenwood Guides to Shakespeare'. Plenty of other titles have offered critical analysis: what makes this one different is its inclusion of the play's textual history and changes, explanations of underlying history and influence, and a gathering of criticism and analogues under one cover. The inclusion of the sum of critical thinking about Twelfth Night makes A GUIDE TO THE PLAY an essential addition to any serious high school or college-level collection where Shakespeare's works are studied. Paul M. Sorrentino's STUDENT COMPANION TO STEPHEN CRANE (0313331049, $39.95) provides an excellent blend of biography and critical review of Stephen Crane's works. Crane was a poet, a journalist, and a novelist whose masterpiece RED BADGE OF COURAGEis assigned reading to this day. Discussions revolve around his early and later works and provide important analysis by the founder of the Stephen Crane Society and its journal. The weighty 5-volume GREENWOOD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN POETS AND POETRY (0313330993, $599.95/5 vols) edited by Jeffrey Gray might prove too detailed for collections only offering light coverage of American poetry; but any collection strong in the topic--particularly college-level holdings--will want to include this in their reference section. It's the most comprehensive reference on American poetry in print, offering nearly a thousand alphabetically arranged entries contributed by over three hundred genre scholars. The entire range of American poetry past and present is covered, both minor and major pets, and entries even include poet/musicians. Historical background, social and political impact and influences, and bibliographical references make for an invaluable, top-pick set. D.H. Figueredo edits the 2-volume ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CARIBBEAN LITRATURE (0313327432, 199.95), an even more specialized set recommended for college-level collections already strong in Caribbean culture. The region's diverse cultural influences and history have led to a unique literary tradition and ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CARIBBEAN LITERATURE examines these influences and traditions, reviewing the lives and works of major Caribbean authors. Here are over seven hundred entries contributed by over 20 experts covering genres, works, themes and more. The 3-volume GREENWOOD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AFRICAN AMERICAN FOLKLORE (0313330352, $299.95) may not appeal to the casual lending collection, but any college-level or public library holding strong in ethnic studies in general and Afro-American history in particular should have it. Afro-American folklore shapes not just literary but social, artistic and religious roots in this country: entries here come from an advisory board of professionals, feature almost seven hundred entries, and cover topics as diverse as dreadlocks, family reunions, the Underground Railroad and slave narratives. Topical category groupings bring these diverse ideas together in an easily-accessed reference cross-referenced for maximum impact. Claudia Durst Johnson's LABOR AND WORKPLACE ISSUES IN LITERATURE (031333286X, $49.95) joins others in the 'Exploring Social Issues Through Literature' series to reach college-level audiences strong in both literature studies and labor law/issues. From wage and workplace dangers to sexual harassment and immigrant struggles, chapters provide a blend of historical background and literary analysis of major works produced on the topic which have exposed injustices or had lasting effects on workplace issue management. Lynda G. Adamson's THEMATIC GUIDE TO POPULAR NONFICTION (0313328552, $65.00) surveys the major literary characteristics of nonfiction writing, considering how students, teachers and librarians alike can use nonfiction to link to themes in all kinds of classes. Entries are arranged alphabetically on 50 times from social issues to politics and environmetal concerns, with each entry discussing the theme and analyzing three or four related works of nonfiction. Nearly two hundred titles receive in-depth survey, along with bibliographic references for further reading.
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|Title Annotation:||Twelfth Night : A Guide to the Play; Student Companion to Stephen Crane; Red Badge of Courage; The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry, 6 vol.; Encyclopedia of Caribbean Literature, vol. 2; Labor and Workplace Issues in Literature; Thematic Guide to Popular Nonfiction|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2006|
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