The Literary Reference Center has a wide range of information about thousands of authors and their works, with full-text articles from reference books, other titles, and literary journals. You can find plot summaries, overviews, literary criticism, author biographies, book reviews, poems, short stories, author interviews, and classic texts!
It also includes access to
- Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature
- Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature
- Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature
- Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature
- The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
- Beacham's Research Guide to Biography and Criticism (six volumes)
- The Oxford Illustrated History of English Literature
- The Columbia Companion to the 20th Century American Short Story,
- all of MagillOnLiterature Plus™
- and much more.
What's great about this database though, is the initial search options. The search page gives you the chance to limit by an author's cultural identity (so you can look for African American authors, or Native American ones, Gay and Lesbian authors, and much more.) This option is halfway down on the left.
On the right side, you have a number of further options. You can enter a literary author's name, search for female or male authors, national identity - or authors in a given lifespan.
Tip: If you want to search by national identity, enter the name of the country (France, Wales, Egypt) rather than an adjective describing people from that place (French, Welsh, Egyptian).
Finally, you can also search by a literary character, either by name (try the last name or full name), locale (place name), or by the type of work.