Chronology of Pynchon's life and works / John M. Kraft -- Introduction / Inger H. Dalsgaard, Luc Herman, Brian McHale -- Biographical note / John M. Kraft -- Part I. Canon: 1. Early Pynchon / Luc Herman; 2. The Crying of Lot 49 and other California novels / Thomas Hill Schaub; 3. Gravity's Rainbow / Steven Weisenburger; 4. Mason & Dixon / Kathryn Hume; 5. Against the Day / Bernard Duyfhuizen -- Part II. Poetics: 6. Pynchon in literary history / David Cowart; 7. Pynchon's postmodernism / Brian McHale; 8. Pynchon's intertexts / David Seed -- Part III. Issues: 9. History / Amy J. Elias; 10. Politics / Jeff Baker; 11. Alterity / Deborah L. Madsen; 12. Science and technology / Inger H. Dalsgaard -- Coda: how to read Pynchon / Hanjo Berressem.
"The most celebrated American novelist of the past half-century, an indispensable figure of postmodernism worldwide, Thomas Pynchon notoriously challenges his readers. This Companion provides tools for meeting that challenge. Comprehensive, accessible, lively, up-to-date and reliable, it approaches Pynchon's fiction from various angles, calling on the expertise of an international roster of scholars at the cutting edge of Pynchon studies. Part I covers Pynchon's fiction novel-by-novel from the 1960s to the present, including such indisputable classics as The Crying of Lot 49 and Gravity's Rainbow. Part II zooms out to give a bird's-eye-view of Pynchon's novelistic practice across his entire career. Part III surveys major topics of Pynchon's fiction: history, politics, alterity ('otherness') and science and technology. Designed for students, scholars and fans alike, the Companion begins with a biography of the elusive author and ends with a coda on how to read Pynchon and a bibliography for further reading" -- provided by publisher.