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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 6: The American Novel 1879-1940$
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Priscilla Wald and Michael A. Elliott

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385342

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195385342.001.0001

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The Immigrant Novel

The Immigrant Novel

(p.200) 13 The Immigrant Novel
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Joshua L. Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores narrative structures, themes, and techniques in novels by and about immigrants written between 1870 and 1940. It examines how immigrant novels tackle the contemporary national scene and social histories of collective marginalization through the viewpoint of recent arrivals. The chapter cites examples of immigrant writing that depict stories of transnational displacement and anticlimactic arrival, such as those by Abraham Cahan, Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen, Lee Yan Phou, Myra Kelly, and Constantine Panunzio. Finally, it examines the immigrant narrative's textual pluralism as well as participation in the trends of U.S. literary movements, such as realism and naturalism, while addressing issues ranging from urbanism to social reform and Americanism.

Keywords:   immigrants, immigrant novels, marginalization, Abraham Cahan, Lee Yan Phou, Myra Kelly, realism, urbanism, social reform, Americanism

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