This collection of essays describes the genesis of ten classic works of American literature. Using biographical, cultural, and manuscript evidence, the contributors tell the ""stories of stories,"" plotting the often curious and always interesting ways in which notable American books took shape in a writer's mind.
The genetic approach taken in these essays derives from a curiosity, and sometimes a feeling of awe, about how a work of literature came to exist -- what motivated its creation, informed its vision, urged its completion. It is just that sort of wonder that first brings some people to love writers and their books.
Originally published in 1990.
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