Approaches to Teaching the Works of Tim O'brien

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-12-07
  • Publisher: Modern Language Assn of Amer

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"The works of Tim O'Brien are among the most significant recent contributions to a lengthy canon of war literature," write the editors of this volume; they serve "as an ideal point of entry for discussions of war and its human impact." The author of the highly acclaimed The Things They Carried, O'Brien is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and the winner of a National Book Award for Going After Cacciato. This volume in the Approaches to Teaching series considers the range and depth of O'Brien's writing, with an emphasis on works that focus on the Vietnam War. Part 1, "Materials," provides information on O'Brien's life and an overview of his literary output. It also directs readers to critical and reference works on subjects encountered in his writing. The twenty-three essays in part 2, "Approaches," provide historical background on the Vietnam War; explore narrative issues in O'Brien's works, such as the melding of fiction, nonfiction, and memoir; and suggest ideas for teaching the author's works in a variety of classroom and conceptual settings (e.g., composition, American literature, war fiction, narrative theory, postmodernism).

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Biographyp. 7
Primary Worksp. 9
Secondary Sourcesp. 17
Introductionp. 55
Historical and Cultural Contexts
The Vietnam War: A Very Short Historyp. 64
The Things We Carry: Lessons from O'Brien in American National Mythologyp. 72
Teaching The Nuclear Age in the Second Nuclear Agep. 80
"Thinking Seriously about Canada": Defamiliarizing O'Brien's Work from a Canadian Perspectivep. 85
Teaching The Things They Carried with Duong Thu Huong's Novel without a Namep. 93
Literary Contexts
O'Brien in an American War Literature Classp. 103
Teaching O'Brien in the Context of War Narrativesp. 111
Going After Cacciato in a Course on the Literature of the Vietnam Warp. 119
Teaching In the Lake of the Woods as a Historical Novelp. 125
Teaching Going After Cacciato as an American Road Narrativep. 132
From Short-Story Cycle to Ensemble Novel: Teaching July, Julyp. 141
Interpretive Contexts
Story and Discourse in The Things They Carriedp. 149
Teaching Going After Cacciato and The Things They Carried in the Context of Traumap. 156
Doing Gender and Going Native in "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong"p. 163
Critical Angles: Reading Soldier-Author Tim O'Brien and Going After Cacciatop. 171
Identity in 10,000 Miles of Nameless, Faceless Space: A Postmodern Approach to In the Lake of the Woodsp. 179
Diving into the Text beneath the Text: Gender and Revenge in Tomcat in Lovep. 188
Classroom Contexts
What High School Students Carry to and from The Things They Carriedp. 196
Teaching Hemingway and O'Brien in an Inner-City High Schoolp. 202
The Things They Carried and the First-Year College Experiencep. 209
Writing across the Disciplines with The Things They Carriedp. 217
How to Write a True Essay: The Things They Carried in the Composition Classroomp. 223
Questioning Language: The Things They Carried in an Upper-Level Literature Classp. 231
Notes on Contributorsp. 239
Survey Participantsp. 241
Works Citedp. 243
Index of Namesp. 285
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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