Lyrical Strategies

Cloth Text – $99.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3655-7

E-book – $34.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3656-4

Paper Text – $34.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3654-0
Publication Date
January 2018
Page Count
240 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Lyrical Strategies

The Poetics of the Twentieth-Century American Novel
Katie Owens-Murphy

Lyrical Strategies advances the highly original idea that not all literary fiction should be read as a novel. In it, Katie Owens-Murphy identifies a prominent type of American novel well suited to the reading methods of lyric poetry and lyric frameworks of structural repetition, rhythm, figurative meaning, dramatic personae, and exclusive address. 

Owens-Murphy surveys a broad array of writers: poets from the lyrical transatlantic tradition, as well as American novelists including Gertrude Stein, Jean Toomer, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich, and Cormac McCarthy. Through a masterful reexamination of canonical works of twentieth-century American fiction through the lens of lyric poetry, she reveals how many elements in these novels can be better understood as poetic and rhetorical figures (metaphysical conceit, polysyndeton, dramatic monologue, apostrophe, and so on) than narrative ones.

Making fresh contributions to literary theory and American fiction, Lyrical Strategies will fascinate readers and scholars of the American novel, fiction, poetry, and poetics alike. 
About the Author

KATIE OWENS-MURPHY is an assistant professor in the English department at the University of North Alabama.

“Katie Owens-Murphy’s Lyrical Strategies is an exemplary piece of criticism—at once a contribution to literary theory and a resourceful engagement with modern and postmodern American fiction. In my forty-plus years’ experience of reading, writing, teaching, and vetting, I don’t know that I’ve encountered anything quite like it.” —David Cowart, author of Thomas Pynchon and the Dark Passages of History