Regional Literature

This section includes works limited to or emphasizing a region of the United States.

Most states and some cities have bibliographies of works by native or resident authors. For such bibliographies published through 1970, see vol. 1, pp. 164–68, in Tanselle, Guide to the Study of United States Imprints (U5290); for later ones, see Bibliographic Index (D145).


Guides to Scholarship and Criticism


Gohdes, Clarence. Literature and Theater of the States and Regions of the U. S. A.: An Historical Bibliography. Durham: Duke UP, 1967. 276 pp. Z1225.G63 016.8109.

A checklist of studies through 1964 on regional belles lettres and theater in the United States and its possessions. Gohdes excludes theses and dissertations as well as most newspaper articles, foreign scholarship, and studies of individual writers or theater personnel. Within divisions for states, possessions, and geographic regions, entries are listed alphabetically in sections for literature and theater. Two appendixes: western literature (for studies dealing with this area, as distinct from the Midwest or West); general studies of regionalism. Because there are no indexes or cross-references and few duplicate entries, users must be certain to search the regional as well as state divisions for studies of a locale. Although superseded by Larson, American Regional Theatre History (Q3575), for studies of theater before 1900 and offering less extensive coverage than Stratman, Bibliography of the American Theatre (Q3580), Gohdes remains an indispensable compilation of general studies of regional literature. It must be supplemented by works in sections G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts and H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

See also

“Annual Review,” Journal of Modern Literature (M2780).

Leary, Articles on American Literature (Q3295).

Woodress, Dissertations in American Literature, 1891–1966 (Q3320).


Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

Chielens, Literary Journal in America to 1900 (Q4145).


Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

Larson, Carl F. W., comp. American Regional Theatre History to 1900: A Bibliography. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1979. 187 pp. Z5781.L34 [PN2221] 016.792′0973.

A bibliography of books, articles, dissertations, theses, newspaper articles, and some manuscripts (through 1976) on regional theater outside New York City. Larson emphasizes English-language theater and studies of a specific geographic area; it excludes publications before 1900 unless their focus is historical and studies of actors, actresses, and theatrical personnel unless they emphasize a specific region. The 1,481 entries are organized chronologically by date of coverage in four divisions: states (with sections for cities and general studies), regions, miscellaneous works, and bibliographies. The chronology of numerous entries is imprecise because the compiler did not examine many items or relied on secondhand information. Three indexes: foreign language theater; subjects (limited to persons); authors. Although no locations are provided for manuscripts, subject indexing is inadequate, the chronological placement is not reliable, and scope is insufficiently defined (especially what “theatre history” encompasses), Larson does offer the best general coverage of regional theater for the period. It corrects several errors in Stratman, Bibliography of the American Theatre (Q3580), and Gohdes, Literature and Theater of the States and Regions (Q3570), but does not completely supersede either. Review: Don B. Wilmeth, Nineteenth Century Theatre Research 8.2 (1980): 109–10.


Stratman, Carl J., C. S. V. Bibliography of the American Theatre Excluding New York City. Chicago: Loyola UP, 1965. 397 pp. Z1231.D7 S8 016.7920973.

A bibliography of studies through c. 1964 on the stage and theater, encompassing a wide range of theatrical activity and types of entertainment such as ballet, minstrel shows, opera, and puppetry and extending to high school and university theater. Stratman excludes general theater and stage histories, newspaper articles, manuscripts, local or state histories, and critical studies of plays. The 3,856 entries are organized by state or region, then by city, then by publication date. Each state section concludes with a list of general works. Except for theses and dissertations, each work is located in at least one library (an especially helpful feature in the case of ephemeral publications); only periodical articles are accompanied by brief descriptive annotations. Indexed by persons and subjects. Although now dated and superseded in part by Larson, American Regional Theatre History (Q3575), Stratman remains a valuable guide to studies of the theatrical activity of a city or region and offers fuller coverage than Gohdes, Literature and Theater of the States and Regions (Q3570).

Eastern Literature

Most works in section Q: American Literature/Early American Literature (to 1800) and many in American Literature/Nineteenth-Century Literature emphasize eastern writers.

Histories and Surveys


Westbrook, Perry D. A Literary History of New England. Bethlehem: Lehigh UP; London: Assoc. UP, 1988. 362 pp. PS243.W42 810′.9′974.

A literary history devoted to belles lettres and other writings by natives or residents and treating “some subject, place, or persons—imaginary or not—connected with New England and its culture.” The chapters on major authors, groups, movements, and genres cover 1620 to 1950, with some recent writers mentioned in an epilogue. Concludes with a highly selective bibliography. Indexed by persons and subjects. Literary History of New England offers a balanced overview of literature associated with the region.

Midwestern Literature

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias


Dictionary of Midwestern Literature. Ed. Philip A. Greasley. 3 vols. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2001– . PS273.D53 810.9′977′03.

  • Vol. 1: The Authors. 2001. 666 pp.

A dictionary and history of the literature of the Midwest (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota). Vol. 1 covers the lives and writings of more than 400 established and “emerging” poets, fiction writers, dramatists, journalists, and critics with an “extended connection” with the Midwest who have published English-language works that depict the region. The signed entries typically provide basic biographical information, a critical assessment, a list of major works, and suggestions for further reading. Indexed by persons and titles; entrants are also indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J595). Although readers will wish for regional headings in the index and although the connection to the literature of the Midwest is tenuous for some writers (e.g., T. S. Eliot and Donald Hall), Dictionary of Midwestern Literature offers the best guide to midwestern writers.

Vol. 2 will cover places, movements, themes, genres, and other topics; vol. 3 will be a literary history of the Midwest.

Guides to Primary Works

There is no adequate guide to the literature of the Midwest. For example, Donald W. Maxwell, Literature of the Great Lakes Region: An Annotated Bibliography (New York: Garland, 1991; 485 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1252), offers 1,707 entries on novels, plays, short stories, and poems about locales in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota; however, few of the brief annotations are based on the author’s direct knowledge of the books (as he confesses, “I haven’t read many of these works”), and the inexcusable lack of a subject index means that users must scan every entry when searching for works about a place or an event.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

Bibliographies on a variety of midwestern writers and subjects appear in issues of Great Lakes Review 1–10 (1974–84); with the title change to Michigan Historical Review (12 [1986]), the journal narrowed its focus to that state.

Serial Bibliographies

““Annual Bibliography of Midwestern Literature, [1973– ]”.” Midamerica 2 (1975)– . PS273.M53.

A list of primary and secondary publications relating to authors born or resident in the Midwest as well as of literary works with a midwestern setting. Currently, entries are organized in three divisions: primary sources (an alphabetic list—by writer—of literary works; early installments included the names of authors of secondary works, with a cross-reference to the secondary sources division); secondary sources (with subdivisions for general studies and literary authors); and new periodicals. Users should note that essays in edited collections are not separately listed. Early installments of the bibliography are unnecessarily difficult to read because they are reproduced from a much-reduced uppercase printout, and the cross-referencing system in the primary works division is cumbersome. Although not comprehensive (especially for major authors), the “Annual Bibliography” does assimilate a considerable amount of the year’s work on midwestern literature and serves as a useful complement to the standard bibliographies and indexes in section G.

See also

MLAIB (G335): See the headings beginning “Midwestern” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Other Bibliographies

Nemanic, Gerald, gen. ed. A Bibliographical Guide to Midwestern Literature. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 1981. 380 pp. Z1251.W5 B52 [PS273] 016.81′08′0977.

A selective bibliography of studies of the literature and culture of the midwestern states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, and the eastern part of Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas) and of about 150 authors whose works reflect the cultural life of the region. Entries are organized in two divisions: subjects and individual authors. The first grouping consists of extensively classified subdivisions listing primarily books on literature and language, history and society, folklore, personal narratives, architecture and graphics, Chicago, black literature, Indians, and literary periodicals. Each subdivision is preceded by a helpful evaluative overview of scholarship; most entries are succinctly and clearly annotated. Each author bibliography consists of a headnote that briefly comments on the writer’s stature, notes important studies, suggests topics for research, and identifies major manuscript collections; a chronological list of major primary works; and a selective, unannotated list of scholarship. Two appendixes: brief biographical notes on an additional 101 writers; a list of 101 fictional narratives on the Midwest by writers not associated with the region. Individual bibliographies are uneven in quality; the lack of cross-references in the first part and the failure to provide a subject index substantially reduce usability; articles are generally excluded from the subject lists; and major writers are more adequately treated in separate author bibliographies; even so, the usually judicious selection and evaluative comments in the headnotes make Nemanic the first source to consult in the study of midwestern literature generally and minor writers associated with the region. Reviews: Craig S. Abbott, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 6.2 (1982): 135–37; Michael J. Bresnahan, Resources for American Literary Study 12.1 (1982): 111–16.

Southern Literature

Guides to Reference Works

For an annotated list of reference works published since 2000 on regions, fine arts, history, and language and literature of the South, see Tisha M. Zelner, “Reference Works for Scholars of the South,” Southern Quarterly 45.2 (2008): 114–69.

Histories and Surveys


The History of Southern Literature. Louis D. Rubin, Jr., gen. ed. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1985. 626 pp. PS261.H53 810′.9′975.

A collection of essays, on authors, movements, genres, and topics, that makes a concerted effort to include African American literature and emphasizes twentieth-century writers. Unfortunately the essays exclude references to scholarship, a deficiency not compensated for by M. Thomas Inge’s brief appendix surveying anthologies, reference sources, surveys, bibliographies, literary histories, and general critical studies (pp. 589–99). The quality of the essays and breadth of coverage make this work the standard literary history for the region, although Jay B. Hubbell’s monumental The South in American Literature, 1607–1900 (Durham: Duke UP, 1954; 987 pp.) remains valuable for its encyclopedic treatment of the literature before 1865. Reviews: Melvin J. Friedman, American Literature 58.3 (1986): 427–30; Jan Nordby Gretlund, Resources for American Literary Study 16.1-2 (1986–89): 52–57; Michael Kreyling, American Literature 60.1 (1988): 83–95; Ellen M. Weinauer, Nineteenth-Century Contexts 16.1 (1992): 91–96.

Women writers are more fully treated in The History of Southern Women’s Literature, ed. Carolyn Perry and Mary Louise Weaks (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2002; 689 pp.); however, most of the essays read like extended entries in a literary encyclopedia.

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias


Companion to Southern Literature: Themes, Genres, Places, People, Movements, and Motifs. Ed. Joseph M. Flora and Lucinda H. Mackethan. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2002. 1,054 pp. Southern Lit. Studies. PS261.C55 810.9′975.

A dictionary of authors, institutions, places, customs, historical events and persons, genres, movements, periodicals, scholars, themes, and stereotypes associated with Southern literature (here “broadly defined as constituting a cultural territory that has been imaginatively created by all kinds of ‘makers’”). Focusing on approaches that are not author-centered, the work includes only those few writers who are pioneers or seminal influences and works that are essential for defining the southern mind. The approximately 500 signed entries—many by established scholars or creative writers—provide full, readable, informative treatments of their respective topics and their manifestations in or importance to the literature of the South (see, e.g., “bourbon,” “hog,” “K Mart fiction,” “mammy,” and “whoopin’”); most conclude with a selective bibliography. Broad but representative in its coverage and guided by attentive editorial judgment (except for the lapse that allowed the starkly insubstantial “Sears catalog” entry), Companion to Southern Literature—an essential desktop companion for specialists in the literature of the South—is a resource that will captivate readers into turning leaves long after perusing the entry that brought them to this work.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

Surveys of Research

Harbert and Rees, Fifteen American Authors before 1900, 1971 edition (Q3280a).

Serial Bibliographies

SSSL Bibliography: A Checklist of Scholarship on Southern Literature, [1968–2006]. Mississippi Quarterly. Mississippi State U, 2006. 30 Dec. 2014. <>.

““A Checklist of Scholarship on Southern Literature for [1968–96]”.” Supplement to Mississippi Quarterly 22–50 (1969–1996-97). AS30.M58 A2 051.

An annotated bibliographic database of books and articles published between 1968 and 2006 about Southern writers. This cumulates, expands, and continues the annual “A Checklist of Scholarship on Southern Literature for [1968–96].” Users can search entries by keyword or browse lists of writers (either by surname or by period: colonial [1607–1800], antebellum [1800–65], postbellum [1865–1920], modern [1920–50], contemporary [1950 to the present], and unassigned [which includes both writers as well as lists of general and miscellaneous studies, though the distinction between the two is not clear]), scholars, and journals. Results of keyword searches, which are ranked by relevance, provide author, title, and brief descriptive annotation; results of browse searches, which are listed in ascending chronological order, then alphabetically by title within a year, provide title, author, and year as well as links to related Web sites. In both kinds of searches, users must click on a result to view the full citation; since journal acronyms are not expanded, users must click on the acronym to identify the journal. The online version is an archived incomplete capture of the Web site before it was destroyed by a hacker. As of 2014, the online version is most effectively explored by browsing the directory. Searches often try to connect to pages that have not been archived.

Although it is not comprehensive and although the search interface is unsophisticated, SSSL Bibliography is an essential continuation of Rubin, Bibliographical Guide to the Study of Southern Literature (Q3625), and supplement to the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.

The first eight “Checklists” are cumulated and supplemented in Jerry T. Williams, ed., Southern Literature, 1968–1975: A Checklist of Scholarship (Boston: Hall, 1978; 271 pp.; Reference Pub. in Lit.).

See also

MLAIB (G335): See the headings beginning “Southern American(s)” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Other Bibliographies

Rubin, Louis D., Jr., ed. A Bibliographical Guide to the Study of Southern Literature. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1969. 351 pp. Southern Lit. Studies. Z1225.R8 016.81.

A collection of selective bibliographies compiled by specialists on southern literature and confined largely to English-language scholarship published through the late 1960s. The bibliographies are organized in two divisions: 23 topics (including general works, periods, themes, local color, periodicals, southern speech, drama, folklore, manuscript collections, and bibliographies) and 135 individual authors. An appendix covers 68 writers of the colonial South. Each bibliography is in two parts: an evaluative summary of scholarship (ranging from a few lines to several pages and sometimes commenting on the stature of the writer) and a selective list of studies (variously classified in the topics division). The appendix has no summaries. An asterisk denotes works including a useful bibliography. The lack of an index significantly reduces usability, there is considerable overlapping among the bibliographies, and the coverage (originally too selective for major writers) is now dated, but this remains a useful guide to the best scholarship before c. 1968 on southern literature generally and on minor writers. Review: Hensley C. Woodbridge, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 63.4 (1969): 332–36.

Coverage must be supplemented with SSSL Bibliography (Q3620), American Literary Scholarship (Q3265), and Jack D. Wages, Seventy-Four Writers of the Colonial South (Boston: Hall, 1979; 252 pp.; Reference Pub. in Lit.). The last work, however, is marred by omissions, frequently uninformative annotations, and cryptic abbreviations of authors’ names in the index.

Dissertations and Theses

Emerson, O. B., and Marion C. Michael, comps. and eds. Southern Literary Culture: A Bibliography of Masters’ and Doctors’ Theses. Rev. and enl. ed. University: U of Alabama P, 1979. 400 pp. Z1251.S7 C3 [PS261] 016.810′9′975.

Wages, Jack D., and William L. Andrews, comps. ““Southern Literary Culture: 1969–1975”.” Mississippi Quarterly 32 (1978–79): 13–214. AS30.M58 A2 051.

The revised edition lists about 8,000 American and foreign theses and dissertations, accepted through winter 1969, on southern literature and writers (i.e., those who “flourished” in the South). Entries are listed alphabetically by thesis or dissertation author in three classified divisions: individual writers; cultural, historical, and social background (with sections for general studies, folklore, education, theater, libraries and lyceums, onomastics, language, and southern culture through others’ eyes); and general literary studies (with sections for studies that include the South, studies restricted to southern literature, bibliographies and checklists, comparative studies, newspapers and periodicals, and original works written at southern universities). Each entry provides author, title, institution, year, degree, and department; occasionally a note identifies authors or works discussed. Since a thesis or dissertation is listed only once, the lack of cross-references and an index seriously mars the usability of the work. Although not comprehensive—especially in its coverage of foreign theses and dissertations on Twain—Southern Literary Culture is valuable for its extensive coverage, especially of studies written in a variety of departments other than English.

The supplement is more closely restricted to literary studies and omits foreign theses and dissertations. Its approximately 3,000 entries are listed alphabetically by author in 13 divisions: individual authors, multiple author studies, general culture, education, folklore, history, journalism, libraries, linguistics, music, politics, religion, and speech and theater. Only the first division is classified and includes cross-references for multiple-author studies. Except for the omission of department, entries include the same information as in the revised edition. Indexed by dissertation or thesis writers. Although lacking the breadth of coverage of its predecessor, Wages and Andrews’s work remains a useful compilation but must be supplemented by section H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.


Guides to Scholarship

McMillan, James B., and Michael B. Montgomery. Annotated Bibliography of Southern American English. [2nd ed.] Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 1989. 444 pp. Z1251.S7 M37 [PE2922] 016.427′975.

A bibliography of studies (some as late as 1989 and all but a few in English) of English used in the District of Columbia and the “states south and west of the Mason-Dixon Line from the Delaware Bay to [and including] Texas.” McMillan and Montgomery includes theses, dissertations, research reports, ERIC documents, and scholarly reviews of books, but excludes popular journalism, general works on American English, and studies of folklore, foreign languages, language of children under nine, language contact, and literature unless of interest to students of dialect. The approximately 3,800 entries are listed alphabetically by author in 12 divisions: general studies; historical and creole studies; lexical studies; phonology and phonetics; morphology and syntax; place-names; personal and miscellaneous names; figurative language, exaggerations, and wordplay; literary dialect; language attitudes and speech perception; speech acts and style; and bibliographies. Unlike in the first edition (Coral Gables: U of Miami P, 1971; 173 pp.), a majority of the approximately 3,800 entries are adequately annotated; entries for books cite reviews. Indexed by scholars. Although there are cross-references, the lack of a subject index seriously impedes access to what is otherwise a valuable compilation, especially for those interested in scholarship on the use of southern dialects in literary works. Review: Edgar W. Schneider, English World-wide 10.2 (1989): 345–48.

Recent studies can be identified by searching “Southern American English dialect” in the subject index to post-1981 volumes of MLAIB (G335) and in the online thesaurus.

See also

Emerson and Michael, Southern Literary Culture (Q3630).

Rubin, Bibliographical Guide to the Study of Southern Literature (Q3625).

Biographical Dictionaries


Southern Writers: A New Biographical Dictionary. Ed. Joseph M. Flora and Amber Vogel. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2006. 468 pp. PS261.S595 810.9′975′03.

A biographical dictionary of more than 600 writers associated (sometimes loosely) with the southern United States (not herein geographically defined). The signed entries (which range from 300 to c. 1,000 words depending on the eminence of the subject) offer a basic overview of a subject’s life and career, and conclude with a chronological list of books. Informative and sometimes witty, Southern Writers will likely assume pride of place among biographical dictionaries of the region.

Western Literature

On the difficulties researchers face because of a lack of agreement over what constitutes southwestern literature and over what writers should be labeled southwestern, see Kate Manuel, “Researching Southwestern Literature: Challenges and Strategies,” Teaching Literary Research: Challenges in a Changing Environment, ed. Kathleen A. Johnson and Steven R. Harris (Chicago: Assn. of College and Research Libs., 2009; ACRL Pubs. in Librarianship 60) 83–108.

Histories and Surveys


A Literary History of the American West. J. Golden Taylor, ed. in chief. Fort Worth: Texas Christian UP, 1987. 1,353 pp. PS271.L58 810′.99978.

A collaborative critical history whose 75 chapters employ a variety of approaches to encompass major writers; regions; historical periods; genres; types of characters; ethnic and non-English literatures; folklore; nature writing; and movies, television, and radio. Most chapters conclude with a selective bibliography (several of which are evaluatively annotated). The volume also includes chronologies of historical (1507–1980) and literary (1510–1984) events; an appendix that surveys the development of criticism of western literature; and an incomplete and sometimes inaccurate list of major reference sources. Indexed by persons and subjects. Although uneven in execution, the impressive scope and quality of the contributors make this collection the essential starting point for research on western literature.

Updating the Literary West, Thomas J. Lyon, ed. in chief (1997; 1,031 pp.), updates (through 1996) and expands Literary History of the American West in 106 essays that survey developments in criticism; canonicity; and the study of genres, regions, groups, and individual authors. As in the earlier volume, there is a chronology (of events and texts, 1980–96), the authors employ a variety of approaches, and essays conclude with a selective bibliography (with only a few bearing annotations). Indexed by persons, titles, and subjects. Although Updating the Literary West stretches West to include Hawaiʻi and the Midwest and although the essays are uneven, it—like Literary History of the American West—is an essential starting point for research on western literature.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

Serial Bibliographies

Bibliography of Studies in Western American Literature, [1998–2000]. Western Literature Association. Western Lit. Assn., 2013. 12 Sept. 2013. <>.

““Annual Bibliography of Studies in Western American Literature, [1965–97]”.” Western American Literature 1–32.4 (1966–98). PS271.W46 810.9′978.

An unannotated list of books and articles on western literature. Entries are divided among two divisions: literary authors; subjects (though many studies appear in both). A substantial number of entries are taken from other sources (see Angela Ashurst-McGee, “From the Bibliographic Editor,” Western American Literature 33 [1999]: 342–44). Although it offers better subject access than its print predecessor, the electronic version is a static list that is searchable only through a Web browser’s find function. Even so, the Bibliography was a helpful compilation of the year’s work on western writers, a continuation of Etulain and Howard, Bibliographical Guide (Q3670), and an essential complement to the bibliographies and indexes in section G. Its unfortunate demise deprived scholars of an essential resource for the study of western literature.

Dissertations and theses are listed in the annual Research in Western American Literature, [1997–2003] (, which formerly included work in progress and which appeared in Western American Literature until the list for 1996–97 in 32.4 (1998); thereafter, only the overview of trends appears in the journal. “Western American Literary Scholarship [2001]: The Year in Review”—a review essay—lasted one year (37.1 [2002]).

See also

MLAIB (G335): See the headings beginning “Western American” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Other Bibliographies

Etulain, Richard W., and N. Jill Howard, eds. A Bibliographical Guide to the Study of Western American Literature. 2nd ed. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1996. 471 pp. Z1251.W5 E8 [PS271] 016.8109′978.

A selective bibliography of studies on trans-Mississippi western literature and authors (including a few major nonfiction writers), as well as outsiders who have written on the area or influenced its literature. It is limited to important scholarship (largely in English through 1994) and emphasizes recent studies; the second edition omits master’s theses and several briefer or outdated items included in the original edition (by Etulain [Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1982; 317 pp.]). Coverage is especially selective for major authors such as Cooper, Cather, Clemens, and Steinbeck. The 6,494 entries are listed alphabetically in five divisions: bibliographies and reference works, anthologies, general works (unhelpfully divided into books and dissertations, and articles—special issues of journals unaccountably appear in both sections), special topics (local color and regionalism, dime novels and the western, film, Indian literature and Indians in western literature, Mexican American literature and Chicanos in western literature, the environment and western literature, women and families in western literature, the Beats, and Canadian western literature), and individual authors. A very few entries are briefly annotated. Indexed by scholars. The lack of cross-references and subject indexing means that researchers looking for studies on a writer must skim the divisions on general works and special topics. Although several authors are more fully covered in separate author bibliographies, Bibliographical Guide to the Study of Western American Literature is the essential starting point for research on the region.

Because coverage is selective (indeed, there are some inexplicable omissions), the guide must be supplemented with “Annual Bibliography of Studies in Western American Literature” (Q3665), Bibliography of Studies in Western American Literature (Q3665), and the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.

As a guide to studies of twentieth-century western literature, Etulain, ed., The American West in the Twentieth Century: A Bibliography (Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1994; 456 pp.), is virtually useless: the criteria governing selection are impossibly vague (“earlier major studies as well as . . . recent burgeoning scholarship”); there are significant omissions in the section on bibliographies and reference works; the division on literature and theater is utterly inadequate, and coverage of individual authors is erratic and incomplete (e.g., the 366 entries include 6 on Willa Cather); and there is no subject indexing. If the divisions on reference works and literature are representative, American West in the Twentieth Century can hardly claim to be “the most comprehensive bibliography now available on the history and culture of the twentieth-century West.”