Storify of our #bookhour on THE HEART GOES LAST by Margaret Atwood

During November’s #bookhour, Sam Cooper, Terri-Jane Dow, Dr Karma Waltonen, and #bookhour organiser Dr Diletta De Cristofaro discussed Margaret Atwood’s latest dystopia, The Heart Goes Last (2015). The chat considered the satiric aspects of Atwood’s novel, the characters, and the narrative focalisation – elements which sparked debates around the believability of the plot. The discussion also focussed on the notions of utopia and dystopia, on the role of surveillance and desire in the Positron Project, on the economic crisis and the text’s suburban imagery. Check out the storify here. Continue reading

Storify of our #bookhour chat on THE WATER MUSEUM by Luis Alberto Urrea

During September’s #bookhour discussion, Dr Gwen Boyle, Dr Laura Smith, Dr Mila Lopez-Paleaz Casellas and #boohour organiser Dr Donna Maria Alexander conversed about The Water Museum by Luis Alberto Urrea. The stories in Alberto’s collection gave way to a discussion about the range of genres and styles evident across the collection, from cli-fi to magical realism, and how these genres and styles reflect on the themes of environmental destruction, borders, loss and disappearance. Check out the storify here. Continue reading

“Teaching America” series Round-Up

Throughout September 2015 U.S. Studies Online ran a collaborative series with the Historians of Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS) on the theme of “Teaching America”. The series offers readers an insight into the ongoing conversations around teaching U.S. history in higher education. Catch up on the series in our round-up here. Continue reading

Storify of our #bookhour twitter chat on “Herland” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

During August’s #bookhour discussion Dr. Fran Bigman, Dr. Ben Nichols, Dr. Joanna Freer and #bookhour organiser Joanne Mildenhall chatted about Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “Herland” (1915). The discussion looked at the question of Herland as utopia, considering the roles of the male protagonists and the functions of gender, sexuality, romance and love in the novella. Participants focused on the central concept of motherhood, and questioned whether Gilman’s text could be considered feminist. Catch up on the discussion here. Continue reading

Storify of our #bookhour twitter chat on STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel

On Tuesday 28th July, Diletta De Cristofaro discussed Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel with Fran Bigman, Niall Harrison and Dan King. The panel focussed on the contrast between the beauty and violence of the post-apocalyptic world, and whether the novel could be considered a “quiet” post-apocalyptic novel; the structure of the plot and the connections it traces between space and time; the binary “great” art/popular culture – especially in light of the comic Dr Eleven and of the Shakespeare performances – and the lack of creativity of the post-apocalyptic world. Catch up on the storify here. Continue reading

Storify of our #bookhour twitter chat on GOD HELP THE CHILD by Toni Morrison

On Tuesday 30 June U.S. Studies Online co-editor Michelle Green (Nottingham) discussed Toni Morrison’s most recent publication God Help the Child with a panel of Morrison experts from the US and the UK. Catch up on the chat here. Continue reading

Storify of our #bookhour twitter chat on CAPE COD by Henry David Thoreau

During May’s #bookhour discussion Dr. Ben Pickford, Dr. Michael Collins, Dr. Thomas Ruys Smith and Joanne Mildenhall discussed the practical and literary economies of Thoreau’s Cape Cod (1865), the role natural and human histories play in the narrative, and the book’s place in Thoreau’s canon as well as in the larger arena of American literature. Catch up on the chat here. Continue reading

Storify of our #bookhour twitter chat on MAÑANA MEANS HEAVEN by Tim Z. Hernandez

During April’s #bookhour discussion Dr Niamh Thornton, Dr Nicola Moffat, Eilidh Hall and Dr Donna Maria Alexander discussed the deeper meaning of the narrative and paratextual elements of the novel, the significance of biography in the third person, and how the landscape and cityscape functions alongside the two key characters of Bea Franco and Jack Kerouac. Read the storify here. Continue reading

Storify of our #bookhour twitter chat on EUPHORIA by Lily King

During March’s #bookhour discussion Dr. Rachel Sykes, Alice Lilly, Sima Jalal Kamali, Maxine Davies and U.S. Studies Online co-editor Michelle Green debated to what extent Lily King’s Euphoria embraces and moves away from the historical fiction genre through the novel’s structure, context and narrator. Read more about the discussion in the storify published here. Continue reading