Joseph Kirkland


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(1830–94), son of Caroline Stansbury Kirkland, also possessed the ability to describe the Middle West realistically. His novels are based primarily on his own experiences and observations, and are frankly and forcefully told, lacking the romanticism so common in their time. His chief work, Zury: The Meanest Man in Spring County (1887), was followed by a sequel, The McVeys (1888), depicting the drab life of Anne McVey and her illegitimate children by Zury. The Captain of Company K (1891) is a realistic novel of the Civil War, based on Kirkland's own experiences.

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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