Links to and excerpts from published reviews will appear on this page.
This especially timely work distills a decade of groundbreaking research in early American book studies and provides a new approach for reading captivity narratives, a genre long held to be the wellspring of a truly ‘American’ literature. Newman fruitfully reimagines early American stories of captivity as ‘literacy events,’ demonstrating how this genre continually reenacts the ‘primal scene’ of American colonialism as an allegory pitting story against discourse, and narrative present against typological past.
– Phillip H. Round, University of Iowa
“In this fascinating study, Andrew Newman explores how captives ranging from Mary Rowlandson to John Marrant drew meaning from literacy and literature as they reflected on their own experiences and used citations and allusions to interpret those experiences for a broader audience. Historians will be intrigued by Newman’s insightful new take on an essential topic in early American studies.”
– Christina Snyder, Pennsylvania State University
“With clear-eyed skepticism and wry prose, Andrew Newman compellingly reads allegory, typology, allusion, and onomastics, not as mere figures of speech, but as historical agents in the shaping of colonialism and its enactors. At a time when critics and historians are rethinking the very tenets of scholarly judgment, Allegories of Encounter shows how much is to be gained from revisiting an earlier era, when literary allusion itself constituted a sometimes wishful, sometimes violent act of cultural boundary-making. Captivity didn’t just yield literature in the colonial era–it was a literary experience for all concerned.”
– Matt Cohen, University of Nebraska-Lincoln