Ulrich Baer & Smaran Dayal, 2020
Fictions of America: A Book of Firsts (Warbler Press, 2020)
An unprecedented compendium of milestones in the history of American literature, this anthology presents all of the “first” literary works that broke barriers, inaugurated new traditions, and prove that the imagination of diverse authors was one of the most powerful forces in shaping our nation. Fictions of America brings together the first published work by literary pioneers who, through bold self-expression, helped create what we call America today. Surprising, thrilling, and charged with the energy of originality and innovation, this eminently teachable collection serves as a foundation and an inspiration for imagining our shared future. Draws on the most up-to-date scholarship for concise introductions to each work and author, key suggestions for further readings, and reliable source information.
Ulrich Baer is University Professor at New York University where he teaches literature and photography. The recipient of Guggenheim, Getty, and Humboldt fellowships, he is the author and editor of numerous books, including Remnants of Song: Charles Baudelaire and Paul Celan; Spectral Evidence: The Photography of Trauma; Rilke: The Last Interval; What Snowflakes Get Right: Free Speech on Campus.
Smaran Dayal is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at New York University, currently completing a dissertation on Afrofuturist fiction. He holds a B.A. in English and American Studies from the University of Freiburg and an M.A. in American Studies from the Humboldt University, Berlin. He is the co-translator of The Queer Intersectional in Contemporary Germany.
Acclaim for Fictions of America: The Book of Firsts
“A fascinating series of texts, some familiar, many not, that does nothing less than uncover a new American literature...essential and eye-opening to students and scholars alike.”
—Ross Posnock, Columbia University
“A stunningly diverse array of authors published across three centuries.”
—Sarah Rivett, Princeton University
“Invites us all to grapple with who counts and why...Embodies a deeper set of truths than many circulating U.S. history textbooks.”
—John Kuo Wei Tchen, Co-founder, Museum of Chinese in America