Encyclopedia of American Popular Fiction

Topics: Anita Blake, Douglas Adams, Genre fiction Pages: 709 (268678 words) Published: October 29, 2011
Encyclopedia of American Popular Fiction
GEoFF HAmilton

BriAn JonEs

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AmErICAN POPuLAr FICtION Copyright © 2009 by Geoff Hamilton and Brian Jones All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher. For information contact: Facts On File, Inc. An imprint of Infobase Publishing 132 West 31st Street New York NY 10001 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Hamilton, Geoff. Encyclopedia of American popular fiction / Geoff Hamilton and Brian Jones. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-8160-7157-9 (hc : alk. paper) 1. Popular literature— United States—Encyclopedias. 2. Popular literature—United States— Bibliography. 3. American fiction—20th century—Encyclopedias. 4. American fiction—20th century—Bibliography. I. Jones, Brian. II. Title. PS374.P63H36 2009 813'.5409—dc22 2008020662 Facts On File books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk quantities for businesses, associations, institutions, or sales promotions. Please call our Special Sales Department in New York at (212) 967-8800 or (800) 322-8755. You can find Facts On File on the World Wide Web at http://www.factsonfile.com Text design by Lina Farinella Cover design by Semadar Megged / Takeshi Takahashi Printed in the United States of America Bang KT 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 This book is printed on acid-free paper.

Introduction A-to-Z Entries Selected Works by Major Writers of Popular Fiction Bibliography of Secondary Sources Index v 1 377 390 392

his encyclopedia is intended as a guide to popular contemporary fiction, covering those writers and works that have enjoyed commercial success in the United States but have typically been neglected by guides to more “literary” works. We include entries on writers (American or other) whose work has reached, or consistently come very close to, the annual top ten list of best sellers during roughly the past 30 years (1980 to the present, with a weighting toward the last 15 years), in addition to entries on a representative selection of individual works that have reached top ten best-seller status in a particular year during this period. We consulted several sources in order to determine what counts as “top ten,” relying heavily on lists compiled by the New York Times and Publishers Weekly. Entries cover every major genre in popular fiction, from romance to science fiction to mystery, from crime to fantasy to horror, as well as numerous hybrids. Some works from the 1970s that have enjoyed continuing popularity since their initial publication (such as Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying) have also been included. While the focus is on fiction for adults, a special case is Dr. Seuss’s The Butter Battle Book, which was added because of its popularity among children of all ages. Another unusual inclusion is the work of memoirist James Frey, whose A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard are covered here since they turned out to be fictitious. Best-selling works typically categorized as “literary” rather than “popular” have been excluded. To indicate a cross-reference, any name or term that appears as an entry elsewhere in the  book is printed in small capital appearance in an entry only). letters

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A Note About the Subject MAtter
Popular fiction, as a term to describe the works discussed here, is at once the most helpful and unhelpful, true and untrue designation possible. These works are certainly fiction and undeniably popular. But so is War and Peace. For some readers works of popular fiction are only popular, while Tolstoy’s text is . . . art, let us say. Too many scholars and critics use the term popular fiction both to disparage their object and ennoble themselves. Such critics see themselves as...
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