Week 8 Forum: What Is American Literature?

Part I: Identify the reading from this week which resonated the most with you. Discuss your reaction or connection to the piece.


  • Jhumpa Lahiri: “The Long Way Home: Cooking Lessons”
  • Sherman Alexie: “What You Pawn I Will Redeem”
  • Sandra Cisneros: “Woman Hollering Creek”
  • Alice Walker: “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens,” “Turning Madness Into Flowers #1,” “The answer is: Live happily!” and “Before I leave the Stage”
  • Cathy Song: “Cloud Moving Hands” and “Someone Else’s Shoes”

Part II: Based on all the readings done up to this point, what, in your opinion, are the most important characteristics that distinguish American literature? Do you think that our literature is a good representation of ‘American Identity’?

Part III: What contemporary author do you think will represent the early 21st century in an American literature class of the future? What do you think this writer brings to the table that is representative of American life or that shows a distinct and important cultural trend or message/theme that is worth studying?

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