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Salem – A Literary Profile

Themes and Motifs in the Depiction of Colonial and Contemporary Salem in American Fiction

Clara Petino

To this day, Salem, Massachusetts, is synonymous with the witch trials of 1692. Their unique pace and structure has not only made the infamous town a strong cultural metaphor, but has generated countless novels, short stories, and plays over the past 200 years. This book marks the first comprehensive analysis of literary Salem and its historical as well as contemporary significance, from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s literature of the 19th century to Arthur Miller’s The Crucible to a growing corpus of contemporary fiction.

Clara Petino received her PhD in North American Studies from the University of Cologne and has taught American literature at Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf. She has conducted comparative research in 19th- and 20th-century literature and has published in Studies in the American Short Story and TOPUS: Space, Literature, and other Arts.