Each generation revises literary history and this is nowhere more evident than in the post-Second World War period. This Companion offers a comprehensive, authoritative and accessible overview of the diversity of American fiction since the Second World War. Essays by nineteen distinguished scholars provide critical insights into the significant genres, historical contexts, cultural diversity and major authors during a period of enormous American global political and cultural power. This power is overshadowed, nevertheless, by national anxieties growing out of events ranging from the Civil Rights Movement to the rise of feminism; from the Cold War and its fear of Communism and nuclear warfare to the Age of Terror and its different yet related fears of the 'Other'. American fiction since 1945 has faithfully chronicled these anxieties. An essential reference guide, this Companion provides a chronology of the period, as well as guides to further reading.