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The literature of the 1970’s contains a divergent amount of writers and genres. Poems, novels, and short stories are the main forms of expression, and these were produced by writers from around the world. “Many of the books in the 1970’s revolve around a general theme of man’s alienation from his spiritual roots”(Gillis).
One author of the seventies is John Updike. He portrayed his characters “trying to find the meaning in a society spiritually empty and in a state of moral decay”(Gillis).
Interest in the 1970’s focused on writers as disparate in the concerns and styles as V.S. Pritchett and Doris Lessing(“English Literature”). V.S. Pritchett is noted as a literary critic of remarkable education. She is also considered a master of the short story. Doris Lessing went from writing short stories collected as African novels concerning the role of women in contemporary society.
“No playwright dominated this decade of both social and artistic unrest. Among the most acknowledged were Sam Shepherd, Lanford Wilson, David Mamet, and Neil Simon”(Gillis). Another noted playwright is Edward Franklin Albee. He is an American playwright whose most successful plays focus on familial relationships. His early plays are characterized by themes typical of the theater of the absurd. The characters suffer from an inability or unwillingness to communicate meaningfully or to sympathize or empathize with one another(“English Literature”).
Another author of the seventies is Iris Murdoch. A teacher of philosophy as well as a writer, she is esteemed for slyly comic analyses of contemporary lives in her many novels such as The Black Prince. Murdoch’s effects are made by the contrast between her eccentric characters and the underlying seriousness of her ideas(“English Literature”).
Eudora Welty, an American writer was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Some of her novels include The Robber Bridegroom, Delta Wedding, The Ponder Heart, and Losing Hearts. Her skillful re-creation of regional patterns of speech and thought make her well-noted. “Welty’s main subject is the intricacies of human relationships, particularly as revealed through her characters’ interactions in intimate social encounters”(Eudora Welty: Biography). Most of her novels and short stories are tales of eccentric and even hideous characters. She portrays them with charm and sympathetic humor. Many of the stories that brought her fame first appeared in The New Yorker Magazine.
Another American novelist during the seventies was Michael Shaara. He was a
short-story writer whose writing on military matters is known for its historical accuracy and realism.
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