For Introduction to Literature courses. Literature:A Contemporary Introduction is an innovative introduction to literature. Three features set this book apart: its emphasis on contemporary American literature, its balanced representation of multiple cultures, and its contextual pedagogical approach to the works included. It contains fiction, poetry, and drama, and pedagogical material on each author and on writing about and reading works of each genre. Approximately eighty percent of the anthology is devoted to living American writers. Twenty percent of the selections are classic texts. This emphasis on contemporary American writing allows students to develop an appreciation for literature in its most familiar forms and to understand the tradition that produced those forms through the reading of selected classic works. In this anthology, every effort is made to place each work in its historical, intellectual, and cultural context. Biographical headnotes on the authors enable students to consider each work as a product of a certain kind of experience. And section introductions on reading fiction, poetry, and drama emphasize a progression from reading to interpretation to criticism- where "criticism" means placing the themes of a work against a background of intellectual and cultural history.Hurt, James is the author of 'Literature A Contemporary Introduction', published 1993 under ISBN 9780023590115 and ISBN 0023590114.