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American Fantastic Tales

Terror and the Uncanny
(Book - 2009)
American Fantastic Tales
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The second volume of Peter Straub’s pathbreaking anthology American Fantastic Tales picks up the story in 1940 and provides persuasive evidence that the decades since then have seen an extraordinary flowering. While continuing to explore the classic themes of horror and fantasy, successive generations of writers— including Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont, Stephen King, Steven Millhauser, and Thomas Ligotti–have opened up the field to new subjects, new styles, and daringly fresh expansions of the genre’s emotional and philosophical underpinnings. For many of these writers, the fantastic is simply the best available tool for describing the dislocations and newly hatched terrors of the modern era, from the nightmarish post- apocalyptic savagery of Harlan Ellison’s “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” to proliferating identities set deliriously adrift in Tim Powers’ “Pat Moore.” “At its core,” writes editor Peter Straub, “the fantastic is a way of seeing.” In place of gothic trappings, the post-war masters of the fantastic often substitute an air of apparent normality. The surfaces of American life—department store displays in John Collier’s “Evening Primrose,” tar-paper roofs seen from an el train in Fritz Leiber’s “Smoke Ghost,” the balcony of a dilapidated movie theater in Tennessee Williams’ “The Mysteries of the Joy Rio”—become invested with haunting presences. The sphere of family life is transformed, in Davis Grubb’s “Where the Woodbine Twineth” or Richard Matheson’s “Prey,” into an arena of eerie menace. Dramas of madness, malevolent temptation, and vampiristic appropriation play themselves out against the backdrop of modern urban life in John Cheever’s “Torch Song” and Shirley Jackson’s unforgettable “The Daemon Lover.” Nearly half the stories collected in this volume were published in the last two decades, including work by Michael Chabon, M. Rickert, Brian Evenson, Kelly Link, and Benjamin Percy: writers for whom traditional genre boundaries have ceased to exist, and who have brought the fantastic into the mainstream of contemporary writing. The 42 stories in this second volume of American Fantastic Talesprovide an irresistible journey into the phantasmagoric underside of the American imagination. “An encompassing and essential voyage to the dark side of the moon of American literature.” –Jonathan Lethem
Title: American fantastic tales
terror and the uncanny
Publisher: New York : Library of America : Distributed in the United States by Penguin Group, c2009
Characteristics: 2 v. ;,21 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Peter Straub, editor
Contents: [v. 2.] From the 1940s to now. Evening primrose / John Collier
Smoke ghost / Fritz Leiber
The mysteries of the Joy Rio / Tennessee Williams
The refugee / Jane Rice
Mr. Lupescu / Anthony Boucher
Miriam / Truman Capote
Midnight / Jack Snow
Torch Song / John Cheever
The daemon lover / Shirley Jackson
The circular valley / Paul Bowles
I'm scared / Jack Finney
The Vane sisters / Vladimir Nabokov
The April witch / Ray Bradbury
Black country / Charles Beaumont
Trace / Jerome Bixby
Where the woodbine twineth / Davis Grubb
Nightmare / Donald Wandrei
I have no mouth, and I must scream / Harlan Ellison
Prey / Richard Matheson
The events at Poroth Farm / T.E.D. Klein
Hanka / Isaac Bashevis Singer
Linnaeus forgets / Fred Chappell
Novelty / John Crowley
Mr. Fiddlehead / Jonathan Carroll
Family / Joyce Carol Oates
The last feast of Harlequin / Thomas Ligotti
A short guide to the city / Peter Straub
The general who is dead / Jeff VanderMeer
That feeling, you can only say what it is in French / Stephen King
Sea Oak / George Saunders
The long hall on the top floor / Caitlin Kiernan
Nocturne / Thomas Tessier
The God of Dark Laughter / Michael Chabon
Pop art / Joe Hill
Pansu / Poppy Z. Brite
Dangerous laughter / Steven Millhauser
The chambered fruit / M. Rickert
The wavering knife / Brian Evenson
Stone animals / Kelly Link
Pat Moore / Tim Powers
The little stranger / Gene Wolfe
Dial tone / Benjamin Percy
[v. 1.] From Poe to the pulps. Somnambulism: a fragment / Charles Brockden Brown
The adventure of the German student / Washington Irving
Berenice / Edgar Allan Poe
Young Goodman Brown / Nathaniel Hawthorne
The tartarus of maids / Herman Melville
What was it? / Fitz-James O'Brien
The legend of Monte del Diablo / Bret Harte
The moonstone mass / Harriet Prescott Spofford
His unconquerable enemy / W.C. Morrow
In dark New England days / Sarah Orne Jewett
The yellow wall paper / Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The black dog / Stephen Crane
Ma'ame Peþlagie / Kate Chopin
Thurlow's Christmas story / John Kendrick Bangs
The repairer of reputations / Robert W. Chambers
The dead valley / Ralph Adams Cram
The little room / Madeline Yale Wynne
The striding place / Gertrude Atherton
An itinerant house / Emma Francis Dawson
Luella Miller / Mary Wilkins Freeman
Grettir at Thorhall-stead / Frank Norris
Yuki-Onna / Lafcadio Hearn
For the blood is life / F. Marion Crawford
The moonlit road / Ambrose Bierce
Lukundoo / Edward Lucas White
The shell of sense / Olivia Howard Dunbar
The jolly corner / Henry James
Golden baby / Alice Brown
Afterward / Edith Wharton
Consequences / Willa Cather
The shadowy third / Ellen Glasgow
Absolute evil / Julian Hawthorne
Unseen-unfeared / Francis Stevens
The curious case of Benjamin Button / F. Scott Fitzgerald
The curse of Everard Maundy / Seabury Quinn
The king of the cats / Stephen Vincent Beneþt
The jelly-fish / David H. Keller
Mr. Arcularis / Conrad Aiken
The black stone / Robert E. Howard
Passing of a god / Henry S. Whitehead
The panelled room / August Derleth
The thing on the doorstep / H.P. Lovecraft
Genius Loci / Clark Ashton Smith
The cloak / Robert Bloch
Additional Contributors: Straub, Peter 1943-
ISBN: 1598530488
Branch Call Number: FICTION AMERICAN 2009
Subject Headings: Gothic fiction (Literary genre), American Horror tales, American Fantasy fiction, American
Topical Term: Gothic fiction (Literary genre), American
Horror tales, American
Fantasy fiction, American
LCCN: 2009927074
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From Library Staff

Volume 1 of this comprehensive collection is what you want for a taste of early American weird fiction. Edited by Peter Straub, each of these is curated with love and can introduce you to an accurate timeline of this important genre of American literature.

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