The Cambridge Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne offers students and teachers an introduction to Hawthorne's fiction and the lively debates that shape Hawthorne studies today. In newly commissioned essays, twelve eminent scholars of American literature introduce readers to key issues in Hawthorne scholarship and deepen our understanding of Hawthorne's writing. Each of the major novels is treated in a separate chapter, while other essays explore Hawthorne's art in relation to a stimulating array of issues and approaches. The essays reveal how Hawthorne's work explores understandings of gender relations and sexuality, of childhood and selfhood, of politics and ethics, of history and modernity. An Introduction and a selected bibliography will help students and teachers understand how Hawthorne has been a crucial figure for each generation of readers of American literature.