Nathaniel Hawthorne (Critical Heritage Series)
by Donald Crowley
Gr 8 Up--Essays by noted critics and scholars, prefaced by short, fairly comprehensive author biographies. Steinbeck includes several general critical selections, thus providing an overview of the author's work followed by several entries on each of the following novels: The Red Pony, The Pearl, Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes of Wrath. Hawthorne includes essays on the author's subject matter and resources; discussions of short story and novel literary techniques; and four essays on The Scarlet Letter. These volumes compare favorably to Twayne's essay collections; there is little overlap. Essay selections, although not identical passages, have appeared in Contemporary Literary Criticism (Gale) or elsewhere. Swisher's volumes provide concise resources that would require consultation of several volumes of those books or scanning through multiple pages of American Writers (Scribners) to find comparable material. For students and general readers, these accessible collections provide excellent information on American authors and literary works that are de rigueur in high-school curricula.