American Revenge Narratives

A Collection of Critical Essays

Editors: Wiggins, Kyle (Ed.)

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  • Offers the first dedicated, multi-media critical study of contemporary American revenge narratives
  • Utilizes a range of analytic methodologies ranging from Marxist to historical materialist, third-wave feminist critique to critical race theory
  • Argues that the revenge genre can be read as a national catalog of socio-political debts
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About this book

American Revenge Narratives critically examines the nation’s vengeful storytelling tradition. With essays on late twentieth and twenty-first century fiction, film, and television, it maps the coordinates of the revenge genre’s contemporary reinvention across American culture. By surveying American revenge narratives, this book measures how contemporary payback plots appraise the nation’s political, social, and economic inequities.

The volume’s essays collectively make the case that retribution is a defining theme of post-war American culture and an artistic vehicle for critique. In another sense, this book presents a scholarly coming to terms with the nation’s love for vengeance. By investigating recent iterations of an ancient genre, contributors explore how the revenge narrative evolves and thrives within American literary and filmic imagination. Taken together, the book’s diverse chapters attempt to understand American culture’s seemingly inexhaustible production of vengeful tales.

About the authors

Kyle Wiggins is Lecturer of Rhetoric at Boston University, USA, where he teaches courses on writing, argumentation, and research methods. His work has appeared in Postmodern Culture, Great Plains Quarterly, Studies in the Novel, and other publications.

Reviews

“From The Iliad to John Wick: Chapter 2, what could be more primal, more elemental than the revenge narrative? In this exemplary collection, the contributors find that in contemporary American literature and film the passion for revenge, already ugly, has become even uglier, has evolved from a desire to get even into a mania that cannot be satisfied. Taken together, these essays constitute a landmark study of both the revenge genre and the nation’s deeply troubling ‘love of vengeance.’” (Brady Harrison, Professor, Department of English, University of Montana, USA)

“American Revenge Narratives offers a timely intervention into the history and scholarship of violent payback. Investigating diverse literary and cinematic genres, its contributors not only disclose the complex consequences of contemporary revenge fiction, but also tarry with its ambiguous mix of justice and vigilantism. Essential reading for understanding the aesthetics, politics, and ethics of American retribution fantasies.” (Amy Rust, Associate Professor & Graduate Coordinator, Department of Humanities & Cultural Studies, University of South Florida, USA)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Table of contents (12 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Wiggins, Kyle

    Pages 1-18

  • Wakening “The Eyes of Dreamers”: Revenge in Carson McCullers’s The Ballad of the Sad Café

    Hoffman-Reyes, Lisa

    Pages 21-40

  • Toni Morrison’s Beloved: A Tragedy of Revenge and Reparation

    Ruprecht Fadem, Maureen E.

    Pages 41-80

  • Masculinity in Don DeLillo’s White Noise: Mapping the Self, Killing the Other

    Rizza, Michael James

    Pages 81-98

  • From Revenge to Restorative Justice in Louise Erdrich’s The Plague of Doves, The Round House, and LaRose

    Kurup, Seema

    Pages 99-117

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-93746-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-93745-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
American Revenge Narratives
Book Subtitle
A Collection of Critical Essays
Editors
  • Kyle Wiggins
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-93746-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-93746-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-93745-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 288
Number of Illustrations
4 illustrations in colour
Topics