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Literature & Criticism / Popular Culture


Cheap Rooms and Restless Hearts
A Study of Formula in the Urban Tales of William Sydney Porter
Karen Charmaine Blansfield

Popular Press

Plot, character, and formula in O. Henry's stories of urban America

This book provides a close look at the character types and plot patterns found in the urban stories of William Sydney Porter (known as O. Henry), analyzing how these elements structure his tales and contribute to his popular formulas. Karen Charmaine Blansfield examines Porter's adventurous but troubled background—as a ranch hand, cowboy, bank teller, journalist, prisoner, fugitive, and more—to see how his experiences shaped these aspects of his fiction. She considers how the turbulent conditions of New York City at the turn of the century helped to launch O. Henry's meteoric career.

Karen Charmaine Blansfield is assistant professor of drama at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.

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Cover of book is blue with an image of a man and women under an umbrella.

Back in print
January 2005
LC: 87-072837 PS
154 pp.   6 x 9     6 b/w figs.

Cloth edition, ISBN 978-0-87972-420-7, is out of print , but the paperback is still available.

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Paper $17.95 t
ISBN 978-0-87972-421-4
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