Beards and Masculinity in American Literature (Routledge 2020)

In 2020 I published my second monograph, Beards and Masculinity in American Literature.

Beards and Masculinity in American Literature is a pioneering study of the symbolic power of the beard in the history of American writing.

Inspired by the greatest beard on the face of the greatest writer in the history of the United States – the fabulously flocculent Walt Whitman – this book covers the entire breadth of American writing: from 18th century American newspapers and periodicals through the 19th and 20th centuries to recent contemporary engagements with the beard and masculinity. It looks to the faces of Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemingway, Allen Ginsberg and many others to consider the significance of the beard not only on the face but, perhaps more importantly, on the page as well.

Here is the chapter list:

  • Introduction
  • The Barbershop in American Literature
  • The Need for a Shave: Beards in Masculinity in Ernest Hemingway’s Fiction
  • The Bards and their Beards: Walt Whitman’s “Beard Full of Butterflies” in the poetry of Federico García Lorca and Allen Ginsberg
  • The Beard, Masculinity, and the Other in the post-9/11 novel
  • Epilogue

The paperback edition is released 10th May 2023.