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ERIC Number: EJ864802
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0275-7664
Open to Horror: The Great Plains Situation in Contemporary Thrillers by E. E. Knight and by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Emrys, A. B.
Great Plains Quarterly, v29 n2 p121-127 Spr 2009
From the agoraphobic prairie where the father of Willa Cather's Antonia kills himself, to the claustrophobic North Dakota town of Argus devastated by storm in Louise Erdrich's "Fleur," to Lightning Flat, the grim home of Jack Twist in Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain," much Great Plains literature is situational, placing human drama in the context of historical or contemporary setting. Isolation, fierce weather, and inherent pressures on survival remain primary, and the Plains is a character in itself that appears as a presence, whether foregrounded or ghostly, in works that cannot help but evoke the Great Plains then and now. The Plains' presence is well documented in literary studies of major and minor Plains authors, and in overviews such as Diane Quantic's "The Nature of the Place". Much less attention has been paid to the Great Plains in popular fiction beyond the study of Western novels. Two contemporary novels, both part of widely popular series that are well received critically, demonstrate how well the Great Plains' physical situation itself, as well as its own history of bloody behavior, dialogues with classic components of horror fiction.
Center for Great Plains Studies. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1155 Q Street, Hewit Place, P.O. Box 880214, Lincoln, NE 68588-0214. Tel: 402-472-3082; Fax: 402-472-0463; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Dakota