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Palgrave Macmillan

The Trickster Figure in American Literature

ISBN 9781137344717
Publication Date October 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The Trickster Figure in American Literature provides a new framework to look at the richness that is American literature and culture. Trickster stories allow readers to experience vicariously another culture's deepest discontent. They supply a laugh but more importantly, their stories reflect contemporary dilemmas being played out in fiction. Using the trickster figure as an entry-point into African American, American Indian, Euro-American, Asian American, and Latino/a stories, Winifred Morgan examines the oral roots of each racial/ethnic group to reveal how each group's history, frustrations, and aspirations have molded the tradition. Ultimately, this compelling study shows that in a country such as the United States of America, tricksters remind listeners and readers that the ideals espoused by the law and traditions have not been achieved.

Winifred Morgan is a retired professor of English from Edgewood College, USA. In addition to various articles on tricksters in popular and literary culture, she is the author of An American Icon: Brother Jonathan and American Identity.

1. Introduction
2. African Americans and an Enduring Tradition
3. Coyotes and Others Striving for Balance
4. Trickster Seeking his Fortune
5. Heirs of the Monkey King
6. Rough Mischief, Irreverence, and the Fantastic
Appendix: The Monkey King


'Winifred Morgan's treatment of America's ethnic trickster traditions is insightful, engaging, and unique in its comprehensiveness, covering as she does five ethnicities - African American, Native American, Euro American, Asian American, and Latino/a American. No previous scholar has attempted such a mammoth undertaking.' – Edward J. Piacentino, Emeritus Professor of English, High Point University, NC and author of Southern Frontier Humor: New Approaches
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