History has not been kind to the 1980s. The decade is often associated with absurd fashion choices, neo-Conservatism in the Reagan/Bush years, the AIDS crisis, Wall Street ethics, and uninspired television, film, and music. Yet the literature of the 1980s is undeniably rich and lasting. American Literature in Transition, 1980–1990 seeks to frame some of the decade's greatest achievements such as Toni Morrison's monumental novel Beloved and to consider some of the trends that began in the 1980s and developed thereafter, including the origins of the graphic novel, prison literature, and the opening of multiculturalism vis-à-vis the 'canon wars'. This volume argues not only for the importance of 1980s American literature, but also for its centrality in understanding trends and trajectories in all contemporary literature against the broader background of culture. This volume serves as both an introduction and a deep consideration of the literary culture of our most maligned decade.
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