We invite chapter proposals for an edited volume dedicated to the history of American bestsellers.
We encourage a wide range of approaches, but chapters should be written in a style accessible to students and non-academic readers. In general we are soliciting chapters that focus on an individual bestselling title; as well as close readings, chapters might address questions of audience, reception, historicity, marketing, paratext, etc.
Chapters might also focus upon a bestselling author (author as brand or as celebrity), or serial fiction, although where an individual book is not the chapter's focus, a case should be made for its status as an American bestseller. We also encourage chapters that explore the historical and methodological problems in establishing and defining the "bestseller."
Possible bestsellers include:
Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple (1794)
James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans (1826)
George Lippard, The Monks of Monk Hall (1844)
Susan Warner, The Wide, Wide World
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)
Maria Susanna Cummins, The Lamplighter (1854)
Lew Wallace, Ben Hur (1880)
Owen Wister, The Virginian (1902)
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes (1912)
Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage (1912)
E. M. Hull, The Sheik (1922)
Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind (1936)
Grace Metalious, Peyton Place (1957)
Stephen King, Misery (1988)
Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code (2003)
Series include J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, Tim La Haye and Jerry Jenkins' Left Behind books, L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics, etc.
Please send a 1500 word proposal accompanied by a full CV to Sarah Churchwell (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Thomas Ruys Smith (email@example.com) by 31st October 2007. Upon acceptance, final articles will run to c.6000 words long and will be due 31st April 2008.
Palgrave Macmillan has expressed interest in the completed manuscript. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions.
Dr Thomas Ruys Smith
Lecturer in American Literature and Culture
School of American Studies
University of East Anglia
United Kingdom Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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