for The American
by Henry James
James Nagel offers the first systematic history and definition of the short-story cycle as exemplified in contemporary American fiction, bringing attention to the format's wide appeal among various ethnic groups. He examines in detail eight recent manifestations of the genre, all praised by critics while uniformly misidentified as novels. Nagel proposes that the short-story cycle, with its concentric as opposed to linear plot development possibilities, lends itself particularly well to exploring themes of ethnic assimilation, which mirror some of the major issues facing American society today.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.