Russell Banks | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Robert Niemi

This literature criticism consists of approximately 24 pages of analysis & critique of Russell Banks.
This section contains 7,086 words
(approx. 24 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Robert Niemi

SOURCE: “Apprentice Fiction: Searching for Survivors,” in Russell Banks, Twayne Publishers, 1997, pp. 47–63.

In the following essay, Niemi categorizes the stories comprising Searching for Survivors and surveys the major themes of the collection.

Nobody had enough imagination.

—John Barth, “Lost in the Funhouse”

With the short stories that eventually comprised his first collection, Searching for Survivors (1975), Banks continued to use his writing to process the traumas of his youth and young manhood.1 Yet, unlike the poetry, Searching for Survivors goes well beyond the autobiographical impulse. Though Banks does not classify them as such, these 14 stories lend themselves to three general groupings: (1) five moral-political parables; (2) a trilogy of stories that feature the slain Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara as a kind of icon or informing presence; (3) a half dozen quasi-autobiographical tales set in New England. While...

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This section contains 7,086 words
(approx. 24 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Robert Niemi
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