The Shell Book Review seeks to highlight themes found in multicultural works of literature such as: oppression, alienation, absurdity, poetic conventions, autobiography, and more. With a target audience of both aspiring writers and language arts teachers, the review is organized to be reflective of multicultural literature and how it relates to contemporary classroom curriculum as well as pop culture. By using pop culture as a basis for the review, it achieves student engagement and helps them find a deeper, conceptual understanding of content.
In the review, you will find several ways of integrating these elements such as using hands-on activities, listening to music, or watching film. For many students, talking about things they encounter everyday is an opportunity for them to discuss conventions of literature in ways that they understand. With lessons that are relevant to students’ real-world lives, they can approach concepts with more confidence and less apprehension.
Multicultural literature can be defined as written works that encompass the multitude of cultural groups in the United States and the rest of the world. There are eight objectives of multicultural literature covered throughout the review, they include:
- European Literature
- Ancient Eastern Literature
- Contemporary Eastern Literature
- Native American Literature
- African and African American Literature
- Latin American Literature: Realism and Magical Realism
- Post-Holocaust Jewish Literature
- Global Literature: Cultural Integrations in 20th and 21st Century Literature
Global literature can be defined as written works that embrace the cultures and literary traditions of the world as a whole and universalizes these works in various translations as to make them completely accessible. Taking into account Murphy’s Law, we know that even in literature anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. This would be the blurring of national boundaries as represented in 20th-century literature by virtue of modernism and confessional literature that differed from Romantic literature and was a reflection of peoples’ hardships just before, during, and after WWI and WWII. Across the pond east and west, there were issues as well that all contributed to the globalization of literature, all of which are observed in the review.
We can see the issues with cultural identity that developed by reading works such as The Guest by Albert Camus and Bartleby, The Scrivener by Herman Melville. Nearly all of the literature of this period reveals loss, cultural alienation, and an inability to communicate in traditional ways. The struggles portrayed in these works as well as others on the list are derivative of the society during the twentieth century, which was overwhelmingly encompassed by economic insecurities and racial tensions. Titles that will be covered include:
- The Guest by Albert Camus
- Bartleby, The Scrivener by Herman Melville
- The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol
- A Real Durwan by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin
- The Bhagavad-Gita
- The Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges
- The Analects by Confucius
About the Writer
My name is Cymelle Edwards. In just under a week I will be a Senior at Grand Canyon University. I am majoring in English with an emphasis in Professional Writing. The goal is to obtain my MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and become a professor of English, as well as publish my own pieces of writing. I currently serve as the Editor-in-Chief of Grand Canyon University’s literary review, StartleBloom. I have always loved to write, and with that, read! As a student of multicultural literature, I have learned so much about the different time periods and how they are individually unique, yet are still a reaction against their predecessors. My goal was to create a blog that could help teachers and creative writers explore multicultural literature, and encounter new ways to learn and teach about it.