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Books of the Dead
Reading the Zombie in Contemporary Literature

By Tim Lanzendörfer

240 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 9 b&w illustrations

9781496819062 Printed casebinding $90.00S

9781496821140 Paper $30.00S

From The Walking Dead to World War Z, a serious study of the zombie in literature

The zombie has cropped up in many forms--in film, in television, and as a cultural phenomenon in zombie walks and zombie awareness months--but few books have looked at what the zombie means in fiction. Tim Lanzendörfer fills this gap by looking at a number of zombie novels, short stories, and comics, and probing what the zombie represents in contemporary literature. Lanzendörfer brings together the most recent critical discussion of zombies and applies it to a selection of key texts including Max Brooks's World War Z, Colson Whitehead's Zone One, Junot Díaz's short story "Monstro, " Robert Kirkman's comic series The Walking Dead, and Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Within the context of broader literary culture, Lanzendörfer makes the case for reading these texts with care and openness in their own right.

Lanzendörfer contends that what zombies do is less important than what becomes possible when they are around. Indeed, they seem less interesting as metaphors for the various ways the world could end than they do as vehicles for how the world might exist in a different and oft en better form.

TIM LANZENDÖRFER, Frankfurt, Germany, is assistant professor of American studies at the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies at the University of Mainz, Germany. His book, The Professionalization of the American Magazine: Periodicals, Biography, and Nationalism in the Early Republic, won the 2013-2014 Research Society for American Periodicals' Book Prize, which recognizes the best title published by an academic press in the field of American periodical studies.

240 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 9 b&w illustrations