Imagining Home

Imagining Home

American War Fiction from Hemingway to 9/11

Susan Farrell

eBook for Handhelds

Camden House



The first study to bring Hemingway, Vonnegut, O'Brien, and 9/11 literature together in order to examine views about war, gender, and domesticity over a hundred-year period.

War has often been seen as the domain of men and thus irrelevant to gender analysis, and American writers have frequently examined war according to traditional gender expectations: that boys become men by going to war and girls become women by building a home. Yet the writers discussed in this book complicate these expectations, since their female characters often take part directly in war and especially since their male characters repeatedly imagine domestic spaces for themselves in the midst of war. Chapters on Hemingway and the First World War, Kurt Vonnegut and the Second World War, and Tim O'Brien and the Vietnam War place these writers in their particular historical and cultural contexts while tracing similarities in their depiction of gender relationships, imagined domestic spaces, and the representability of trauma. The book concludes by examining post-9/11 American literature, probing what happens when the front lines actually come home to Americans. While much has been written about Hemingway, Vonnegut, O'Brien, and even 9/11 literature separately, this study is the first to bring them together in order to examine views about war, gender, and domesticity over a hundred-year period. It argues that 9/11 literature follows a long tradition of American writing about war in which the domestic and public realms are inextricably intertwined and in which imagined domestic spaces can provide a window into representing wartime trauma, an experience often thought to be unrepresentable or incomprehensible to those who were not actually there.

Susan Farrell is Professor of English at the College of Charleston.


232 pages
9x6 in
Studies in American Literature and Culture
Hardback, 9781640140011, September 2017
eBook for Handhelds, 9781787440500, September 2017
eBook, 9781787440661, September 2017
Camden House
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Related Titles

Table of Contents

"Isn't It Pretty to Think So?": Ernest Hemingway's Impossible Homes
"A Universe of Two": Constructing Worlds through Narrative in the Work of Kurt Vonnegut
"It Wasn't a War Story. It Was a Love Story": Tim O'Brien and the Ethics of Home
"A Hole in the Middle of Me": Shattered Homes in Post-9/11 Literature
Works Cited

Also in Series