Faculty Book: Morris Dickstein
Leopards in the Temple: The Transformation of American Fiction, 1945-1970
(Harvard University Press, 2002; 242 pp.)
In an acclaimed work of literary criticism and cultural history, Dickstein turns his attention to the rich flowering of novelistic writing that occurred in the first 25 years after World War II. Leopards in the Temple provides a wide-ranging and frank reassessment of more than 20 key figures, including Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Vladimir Nabokov, J. D. Salinger, and Jack Kerouac. Showing that the "conservative" 50s were a time when artists were laying the groundwork for what would become the eruptive 60s, Dickstein's fluid prose deftly relates the work of these varied authors—one a Russian émigré, another an African American in Paris, another a rambunctious originator of the "Beat" aesthetic—to each other and to their time. Morris Dickstein is distinguished professor of English at The Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: APR 30, 2002