As the title of the present book implies, this collection of essays is conceived of as a critical response to mainstream views of the American West. This third volume in the PortalEducation series The American Literary West discloses some of the many - and intriguingly different - accounts of the complex relationships between the West as a physical reality, on the one hand, and human inhabitation and interpretation of this territory, on the other. The subject, while far from new, is also far from being exhausted. In fact, it can never be, because the American West - as any other place - is a perpetual work in progress which is undergoing constant revisions. Thus, the essays of the present volume attempt to illuminate some of these new spots on the ever evolving map of the West, providing fresh perspectives on the struggle to penetrate the veil imposed by traditional accounts, and the urge to comprehend and to portray in writing a number of unique areas that have hitherto been invisible to the vast majority. The project of the writers under study is not only to produce literary archaeology, but first and foremost to offer new interpretations of old histories in a multi-faceted and changing contemporary reality.



Martin Simonson studied English philology and translation at the University of the Basque Country in Vitoria, Spain, and holds a Ph.D. from the same university with a dissertation on the narrative dynamics of The Lord of the Rings. He has contributed with essays on fantastic literature in many journals and anthologies, and he has published a full-length study on the interaction of narrative genre in Tolkien’s literature titled The Lord of the Rings and the Western Narrative Tradition (Walking Tree Publishers 2008). He has translated several Swedish novels into Spanish, including the works of Jens Lapidus and Jonas Hassen Khemiri, as well as essays on North American history, such as Nelson Johnson’s Boardwalk Empire. Martin’s current research is focused on American and English nature writing and literature of place. He is currently teaching English and Cultural Studies at the MA programme for comparative literature at the University of the Basque Country.

David Rio is Professor of American Literature at the University of the Basque Country in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain). He is the author of El proceso de la violencia en la narrativa de Robert Penn Warren (1995) and Robert Laxalt: The Voice of the Basques in American Literature (2007). He has co-edited Aztlán: Ensayos sobre literatura chicana (2001), American Mirrors: (Self) Reflections and (Self) Distortions (2005), Exploring the American Literary West: International Perspectives (2006) and the special issue of the European Journal of American Studies on “Postfrontier Writing” (2011). He has also published articles on contemporary western American literature, southern literature, and Basque American authors in journals such as Western American Literature, Studies in the Literary Imagination, American Studies International and The International Fiction Review. He is also the general editor of Portal Education series on the American Literary West.

Amaia Ibarraran is a lecturer at the UPV/EHU since 1999, where she has been teaching contemporary North American Literature and Literature and Minorities. Her research has always been focused on the study of Chicano Literature, and she has published several articles and attended national and international conferences on this field. Her current research deals with the literary production of the new generation of Chicano writers as well as with the study of other forms of artistic and cultural expression produced by the Chicano community.



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