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Edgar Allan Poe A to Z


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In her introduction, Sova (Agatha Christie, A to Z, LJ 8/15/96) claims that our view of Poe has depended on only the few poems and short stories anthologized in high school textbooks. To counter that view, this comprehensive reference work, consisting of some 3400 entries and illustrated with 50 black-and-white illustrations, treats all of the author's work some 350 stories, poems, essays, and articles. Together with the entries covering Poe's literary works (including journalistic pieces and reviews) are factual treatments of the people, places, and events associated with him. Entries are generally short, with major works given longer treatment under the subheadings "Publishing and Dramatization History," "Characters," and "Plot Synopsis." The encyclopedia contains chronologies of the author's life and work, a directory of "Poe Research Collections," and a selective bibliography. This volume joins 13 other books in the publisher's "Literary A to Z" series. The Poe Encyclopedia (Greenwood, 1997), edited by Frederick S. Frank and Tony Magistrale, is more scholarly and more comprehensive (it contains 1900 entries, each with its own bibliography, and a massive bibliography ends the book). But its hefty price tag makes it less desirable for smaller libraries. Recommended for American literature reference collections. Paul D'Alessandro, Portland P.L., ME Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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