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Book Reviews in Literature

What is a book review? A book review is a description, and brief discussion of a book. Here, you'll find book reviews of novels, collections, literary criticism, biographies, and other works. Read on...
  1. Authors and Writers

'1984' - Review of 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'
1984 is a famous dystopian novel by George Orwell.

'A Tale of Two Cities' Review
It’s a tale of chaos, espionage and adventure set in London and Paris prior to, and during, the French Revolution.

'Aaron's Rod' Review
D.H. Lawrence's seventh novel, Aaron's Rod, was first published in 1922.

'Age of Innocence' Review
In 1905, she published the book that made her famous, The House of Mirth. Other popular books included:Ethan Frome (1911), The Reef (1912), The Custom of the Country (1913), Summer (1917), and The Age of Innocence (1920), which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1921.

'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' Review
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is, without doubt, one of the most famous and enduring children's classics. It is full of whimsical charm, and a feeling for the absurd that is unsurpassed.

'All But My Life' Review
All But My Life is the World War II memoir by Gerda Weissmann Klein. In these pages, she recollects when the Nazis arrived in Poland on September 3, 1939.

'Ararapikva' Review
Since "world-views are defined by languages," he presents both the Karuk version and the English translations of the tales in an attempt "to share a cultural experience, not to present a scholarly monograph or journal article."

'Around the World in 80 Days' Review
Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days is a rip-roaring adventure story set, in the first place, in Victorian England, but which ranges throughout the world following its protagonist Phileus Fogg. Read more about the work, with this review.

'Brave New World' Review
In a futuristic society based on pleasure without moral reprucussions, Aldous Huxley places a few oddball characters to stir up the plot. With eugenics at its core, this novel harkens back to Shakespeare's "The Tempest," where Miranda say, "O brave new world, that hath such people in it."

'Candide' Review
In his review, Duchan Caudill says, "In 1759, a vitriolic Frenchman known as Voltaire (1694-1778) wrote 'Candide.' It was written in retaliation against the tenets of the then-eminent German philosopher Leibniz, who claimed that mankind lives in the best of possible worlds. Voltaire tried to dismantle this notion, and thus created his most...

'Chekhov: The Hidden Ground' Review
Anton Chekhov's life was not an easy one. His grandfather was a former serf, his father was a failed shopkeeper; and, from the time he was a teenager, Chekhov supported his entire family. But, for all his hardships, he was not a saint.

'Crime and Punishment' Review
Readers of Crime and Punishment witness the murder of moneylender Alena Ivanovna--from its inception as an idea to the act itself--early in the novel. Still, a delicious mystery unfolds with the introduction of each new participant in the investigation. Is Raskolnikov desperate? Mad? Evil? Is he, like Napoleon, a conqueror of old ways and ideas?

'Dangerous Intimacy: Mark Twain's Final Years' Review
"Dangerous Intimacy" is the title of Karen Lystra's new biography about Mark Twain's final years. The title seems to suggest a torrid love affair and other romantic misadventures; and the book follows through with that assumption, though not in the way one would expect.

'Dante in Love' Review
In Dante in Love, Harriet Rubin follows Dante's path through Italy.

'David Copperfield' Review
David Copperfield is a novel by Charles Dickens.

'Don Quixote' Review
What can anyone say about Don Quixote that hasn't been said? The book's been around for four hundred years, has inspired virtually every literary movement from the eighteenth-century picaresque to the most obscure works of twenty-first century postmodernism, and has provided the impetus for critical works by everyone from Thackeray to Ortega y Gasset.

'Dos Passos: Travel Books and Other Writings' Review
As one of the latest additions to the American writers series, Library of America has published "Travel Books and Other Writings: 1916-1941," by John Dos Passos.

'Dust Tracks on the Road' Review
Zora Neale Hurston wrote stories, novels, plays, and folklore. A born storyteller, she was part of the Harlem Renaissance of African-American writers. "I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots," she wrote of her life. "Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows with a harp and a sword in my hands."

'Faulkner: A Critical Study' Review
William Faulkner is an important figure in American literature. His works include: The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Sanctuary (1931), Light in August (1932), Absalom, Absalom (1936), and other works. Read more about this critical study of his life and works.

'Gulliver's Travels' Review
There are few great satirists who manage to judge their work so finely that it can be considered both a rip-roaring, fantastical adventure story suitable for children and adults alike, as well as a searing attack on the nature of society.

'Hard Times' Review
Hard Times, first published in 1854, is short--compared to the other major novels of Charles Dickens.

'Invisible Man' Review
While the events of Invisible Man are rooted in very serious modern social events, Ralph Ellison himself stated that its main importance as a work was in its style and experimental nature. Ellison never abandoned music, and Invisible Man attains to the perfection of form that’s almost solely available to sonic composers.

'Jane Eyre' Review
Jane Eyre is the rare book that manages to be good by virtue of ineffable charm alone, despite not having very much going for it in terms of overall plot. Read more about the novel.

'Jude the Obscure' Review
Jude the Obscure is the last of Thomas Hardy's novels.

'Little Princess' Review
A Little Princess and The Secret Garden, two of her best-known titles, have garnered so much respect that they have been made into movies several times.

'Look Back in Anger' Review
When it first appeared on the London state in 1956, Look Back in Anger completely revolutionized British theatre.

'Lord of the Flies' Review
Every year, the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of formal complaints filed by patrons demanding that certain books be removed from schools or public libraries. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, persistently makes the top 100 on this list (in 2006, the novel reached number 70 on the banned books...

'Madame Bovary' Review
Madame Bovary is the story of a woman caught between two worlds--one of the dull and stultifying country life that she leads with her husband, and the world of high romance and love: a fantasy.

'Mansfield Park' Review
While Jane Austen is sometimes seen as the creator of a generalized storyline extended in the form of different novels, each of her works is unique in one way or the other.

'Mistress Bradstreet' Review
In Charlotte Gordon's fascinating biography, "Mistress Bradstreet," Anne Bradstreet emerges as "an electrifying personality"--the first New World poet with her bestselling volume of American poetry. Here, the figure of Anne Bradstreet, the poet, emerges--full of life and passionate intensity.

'Mrs. Dalloway' Review
Mrs. Dalloway is a complex and compelling modernist novel by Virginia Woolf. It is a wonderful study of its principal characters. The novel enters into the consciousness of the people it takes as it subjects, creating a powerful, psychologically authentic effect. Although quite rightly numbered amongst the most famed modernist writers--such as...

'My Brother's Keeper' Review
Although the intended scope of this memoir was never fully realized, "My Brother's Keeper" offers a unique perspective on James Joyce. For many years, Stanislaus Joyce shared friends, books, misadventures, and a few triumphs. All along, Stanislaus was in his brother's shadow, as James Joyce continued to develop his literary genius.

'Oliver Twist' Review
Oliver Twist was enormously influential in bringing to light the atrocious treatment of paupers and orphans in Dickens's time. The novel is not only a brilliant work of art but also a tremendously important document in social history.

'On Nineteen Eighty-Four: Orwell and Our Future' Review
This book brings a fresh, new and exciting look at one of Orwell's greatest books: 1984.

'One Hundred Years of Solitude' Review
The novel has been called one of the greatest classics, written by Gabriel García Márquez. With all its controversy and tome-like qualities, One Hundred Years of Solitude will certainly never be forgotten...

'Our Mutual Friend' Review
The plot of Our Mutual Friend is ultimately simple, outwardly complex: capitalist heir John Harmon, en route to claiming his inheritance by submitting to an arranged marriage with Bella Wilfer (whom he has never met), is apparently drowned.

'People of the Sea' Review
The legends of the selchies come to life with these colorful tales. Read the tales of seals that turn into men and women, or those who rescued young children. There are lots of tales to be told..

'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man' Review
A Portrait of the Artist of as a Young Man is a part of the series of masterpieces of modernist prose by one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, James Joyce.

'Professor and the Madman' Review
The Oxford English Dictionary is one of the greatest achievements in English literature, but it didn't happen overnight. In Professor and the Madman, Simon Winchester delves into the mysterious history of this great text. Along the way, he highlights several of the major contributors. It's really their story...

'Sense and Sensibility' Review
Sense and Sensibility is the first work by Jane Austen. Here's a review.

'Sin and Syntax' Review
In her celebration of words, Hale builds upon the basic rules of grammar, then she shows how powerful prose can be created in unconventional ways. She offers these principles: "relish every word," "be simple, but go deep," "take risks," "seek beauty," and "find the right pitch."

'Tender is the Night' Review
The synchronicity is tempting: we're tempted to look at Tender as the Night as a thinly-veiled gloss on the autobiographical dirt of the Fitzgerald marriage.

'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' Review
Set in rural England, the novel tells the story of a poor girl, Tess Durbeyfield, who is sent by her parents to a supposedly noble family in the hope of finding a fortune and a gentleman for a husband.

'The Eyre Affair' Review
With The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde takes Jane Eyre to a different reality.

'The Glass Menagerie' Review
The Glass Menagerie is one of Tennessee Williams more sedate plays, but what it lacks in the southern fire and passion of A Streetcar Named Desire and A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, it more than makes up for in its poetry and emotional power. Read more about The Glass Menagerie.

'The Great Gatsby' Review
The Great Gatsby is probably F. Scott Fitzgerald's greatest novel. Read more about it.

'The Importance of Being Earnest' Review
The Importance of Being Earnest is a play by Oscar Wilde. Here's a review.

'The Jungle Book' Review
The Jungle Book is one of the works for which Rudyard Kipling is best remembered. The stories in this volume are written to be enjoyed by adults as well as children--with that depth of meaning and symbolism that delves far beyond the surface.

'The Pearl' Review
The Pearl is somewhat of a departure from some of John Steinbeck's earlier works. Here's a review.

'The Romance of Tristan' Review
As a freestanding romance, or as part of the Arthur-cycle, or as an opera or film or inspiration for a novel, the story of Tristan and Iseult is one of our central narratives about how romantic love does and doesn’t work.

'The Waves' Review
The Waves is a novel by Virginia Woolf. The book is a narrative in Woolf's stream-of-consciousness style (first published in 1931). Read more about this famous novel.

'The Wind in Willows' Review
The Wind in the Willows is a children's story that lives in the hearts and minds of its readers well into adulthood. With its subtle blend of anthropomorphism and very British humor, the book is a classic tale of river life and friendship.

'Ulysses' Review
Ulysses by James Joyce holds a very special place in the history of English literature. The novel is one of the greatest masterpiece of modernist literature.

'Venus in Furs' Review
Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch was a historian, folklorist, collector of stories, and progressive thinker of the mid-to-late 1900s, but even though he produced dozens of books in any number of genres, he’s almost solely known for his infamous novella Venus in Furs.

'Wuthering Heights' Review
When Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights was first published in 1847, under the name of Ellis Bell, it received mixed reviews.

5-Minute Iliad and Other Instant Classic: Great Books
Greg Nagan manages to jam 15 great classics into 224 pages (of course, those pages also include the acknowledgments, blank pages, graphical elements, etc.). And, he presents the stories with a modern flare. You can almost forget that you're reading about stories that you know quite well. They have changed before your very eyes.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
In this audio collection, Dick Hill recreates the voice of Huckleberry Finn. He reminds us why this work still presents such a spectacle after all these years. It's simply unforgettable.

Am I a Snob?
In "Am I a Snob?," Sean Latham explores not only the origins of the term, but what it has come to mean for writers. In his discussion of Thackeray, Wilde, Woolf, Joyce, and Sayers, he shows how these writers exploited the term to further their own reputations...

American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence
The American Revolution was not the first war where people of a land were striving for independence, and it will not be the last; but it does mark a significant turning point in the literature of this land.

American Sea Writing: A Literary Anthology
In these works, the fury and power of the sea emerges out of the masses of some 666 pages of text. Out of almost 70 writers, Neill creates a sort of masterwork, intertwined with Cooper's invented sea novel, the stuff from terrible and wonderful personal experiences, tales of whaling, surfing, and surviving...

American Studies
Menand starts off his collection of essays by saying, "The only reliable lesson the past teaches us is how locked we are in the present." The past in literary history reminds us of the many threads in the stories we tell...

Anna Karenina
"Anna Karenina" is one of Leo Tolstoy's greatest literary works. It's the tale of Anna Karenina and her ultimately tragic love affair with Count Vronsky. This audio production offers Neville Jason's abridged version of Tolstoy's masterpiece.

Arthur Miller: His Life and Works
In his newest biography, award-winning Martin Gottfried explores the life and works of Arthur Miller, a controversial figure in American theater. With more than 400 books, articles and theses written about just one of Miller's plays, Gottfried discusses why Miller's plays have been as popular as they've been hotly debated.

As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying is the fictional chronicle of Addie Bundren's death. Read more about this novel by William Faulkner.

Author of the Century
J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the most important writers of the 20th century. He is recognized for "The Lord of the Rings," a three-volume novel cycle, and for "The Hobbit," a children's book published in 1937.

Autobiography of Mark Twain
Charles Neider writes in his introduction, "Mark Twain's autobiography is a classic of American letters to be ranked with the autobiographies of Ben Franklin and Henry James... It has the marks of greatness in it--style, scope, imagination, laughter, tragedy."

Awakening
Published in 1899, The Awakening remains an important title in feminist literature. Kate Chopin's work is a book I will revisit again and again--each time with a different perspective.

Baseball: A Literary Anthology
It's one of the great American pastimes... but it's not often linked to literary endeavors. In this collection, Nicholas Dawidoff brings together literary pieces about baseball.

Bell Jar
Written in the early 1960s, and Sylvia Plath's only full-length prose work, The Bell Jar is an autobiographical novel that relates the childhood longings and descent into madness of Plath's alter-ego, Esther Greenwood.

Beowulf
For more than a thousand years, Beowulf has been part of the foundation on which all English literature is built. The epic is filled with monsters and heroes, including the fiercely strong Beowulf, as archetypal a hero as exists in literature.

Bhagavad-Gita
Perhaps the most profound text in the canon of Hindu literature is "The Bhagavad-Gita," a sacred text, which most translators call "Song of the Lord." It's a philosophical discourse between a warrior named Arjuna and the god Krishna.

Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin - Writers Running Wild in the Twenties
Sexy, jazzy, and more than just a little bit troubled--women like Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dorthy Parker, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Edna Ferber made their marks on the world of literature in the 1920's.

Bram Stoker's Dracula
This book is a great resource if you are a student, looking for influences, context or substantiation. It's also useful for teachers, who are looking for ideas that will make "Dracula" come to life for students.

Breath of Parted Lips
Some of the greatest legacies left to us by great writers are the places they've left behind. The houses they lived in, the pubs or public places they visited... all of these localities seem to tell us something about the writer and their works.

Bronte Myth
Long ago, the lives of the Brontë sisters--Charlotte, Emily and Anne--reached mythic proportions, as they compelled fanatical devotion. However, as Lucasta Miller shows in "The Brontë Myth," many of the cultural memories of the sisters have very little to do with reality.

Browser's Ecstasy
In "The Browser's Ecstasy," O'Brien explores the experience of reading. He both celebrates and laments the history of books, recognizing that "books die, disappear, are made to disappear: that certainty is the shadow side of reading."

Burial at Thebes - A version of Sophocles' Antigone
In "The Burial at Thebes," Nobel-prize-winning writer Seamus Heaney offers his new translation of Sophocles' "Antigone" (c. 442 B.C.). In this translation--marking the centenary of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin--Heaney adds his own modern touches to revive this ancient tale of love and self-sacrifice.

C.S. Lewis: A Biography
In this biography, A.N. Wilson explores the life and works of C.S. Lewis, from his early childhood, through years of fighting in World War I, his relationships, his books, and his friendships.

Casey at the Bat
Ernest Lawrence Thayer (1863-1940) initially published "Casey at the Bat" in the San Francisco Examiner under the name "Phin." This folk hero has become inextricably linked to baseball.

Amy Lowell: Selected Poems
Amy Lowell was a modernist American poet, who was part of a new generation of poets. She wrote 10 books of poetry, a collection of Chinese translations, 3 books of literary essays, and a 2-volume biography of John Keats. With this essential collection of Amy Lowell's poems from Library of America, the passion and energy of her works emerge.

Charles Dickens: His Life and Work
Charles Dickens drew from an early life of poverty, loneliness and exile to create the magic of fiction. In "Charles Dickens: His Life and Work," Stephen Leacock captures that "agony of humiliation;" and, in the early pages of this biography, we see Dickens as a little boy, reading his tattered books.

Chopin: Complete Novels and Stories
Now, for the first time, Library of America publishes the complete works of Chopin in one authoritative volume, including many previously uncollected stories. As the publisher writes: "From ruined Louisiana plantations to bustling, cosmopolitan New Orleans, Kate Chopin wrote with unflinching honesty about propriety and its strictures, the illusions of love and the realities of marriage..."

Christmas Carol
In 1843, A Christmas Carol appeared. It was the first in a series of successful Christmas books by Charles Dickens. He financed the publishing of the book himself, with gilt-edging and hand-colored illustrations.

Christopher Marlowe: A Literary Life
Scholarship on Christopher Marlowe ranges from the authorship conspiracy to individual works ... Now Hopkins brings it all together in this comprehensive biography.

Complete War of the Worlds
This book provides the complete history of "The War of the Worlds," from its first serialization in 1897 through its many versions: comic books, radio, film, stage, and even computer games. The work has been translated into "countless languages," and "has inspired a wide range of invasion tales in every medium." In short, it has experienced dramatic success!

Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Mark Twain is often thought of as the great cynic in American literature. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is perhaps one of the most cynical of his works.

Crazy John and the Bishop and Other Essays on Irish Culture
"Crazy John" contains a collection of essays, which are unlike many in Irish Studies. To start off with, Terry Eagleton's essays do not center primarily around the most famous Irish writers: Yeats, Synge, Joyce, Beckett, or some of the other more prominent names.

Cry the Beloved Country
Alan Paton began writing "Cry the Beloved Country" in a hotel room in Norway while he was undertaking a world-wide survey of correctional facilities. Once he'd started writing in a flood of emotion, it only took him three months to finish the book. The book was met with immediate success, and it has been popular in and out of the classroom ever...

Dawn Powell: Novels 1930-1942
In 1922, Powell began work on her first novel, "Whither, "which was published in 1925. She wrote "She Walks in Beauty" in 1925, though this novel wasn't published until 1928. And, she began "The Bride's House," which was published in 1929. Read more about this collection of novels.

Death Be Not Proud
In "Death Be Not Proud," John Gunther explores the process of death: discovery, fighting, living on, and then dying. The process becomes just a little bit easier, as humor, human kindness and courage all are woven in. More than just about dying, this memoir becomes a study of living.

Death of a Salesman
When this American drama premiered in 1949, Death of a Salesman was an instant success and secured Arthur Miller's place as one of the great American playwrights of the 20th century.

Decline and Fall
Where are you on the wheel of life? Read more about Evelyn Waugh's great work.

Demian
When Hermann Hesse wrote "Demian," he was still undergoing trauma. It was 1917. The world seemed to be in a state of utter madness and chaos.

Discovery of Atlantis
In "Discovery of Atlantis," Robert Sarmast discusses the origins of the Atlantis legend, starting with the first written records by Plato more than 2,000 years ago. He takes a look at Plato's famous works, "Timaeus" and "Critia," explaining how these two works were influenced by even older manuscripts, which have since been lost.

Don Quixote
It's the classic adventure of a madman: the "renowned Don Quixote de la Mancha." He attacks windmills, believes a peasant girl to be a lady, and fancies that he is a knight-errant, dedicated to righting wrongs and rescuing damsels in distress. In this audio collection, Naxos Audiobooks presents Perry Keenlyside's abridged version of "Don Quixote," by Miguel Cervante.

Dubliners
James Joyce--by turns educator, drunkard, confidence man and genius--brought out Dubliners in 1914, nine or ten years after most of the fifteen stories that comprise the book had already been written.

Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance
Pulitzer-Prize winning biographer Kenneth Silverman reflects on the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe, with many of the contradictions and travesties that make up this illusive and often controversial character of Edgar Allan Poe.

Emma
Sometimes claimed to be the culmination of Jane Austen's genius, Emma was Austen's fourth novel--published first in 1816.

F. Scott Fitzgerald: Novels and Stories 1920-1922
In "F. Scott Fitzgerald: Novels and Stories, 1920-1922," Jackson R. Bryer presents a collection of Fitzgerald's early works: "This Side of Paradise" (1920), "Flappers and Philosophers" (1920), "The Beautiful and the Damned" (1922), and "Tales of the Jazz Age" (1922).

Faith in a Seed
"Faith in a Seed," is Thoreau's final manuscript, presented here for the first time by Bradley P. Dean.

Family Christmas Sampler
Christmas doesn't seem quite right without stories and carols around the tree, with remembrances of years past. It's the perfect time for stories, since it's already a time so full of magic, winter snow, and everything that reminds us that belief is still possible.

First Impressions
Antarctica is still a place of mystery after all these years. It still exists in almost completely pristine condition, but there are many stories to tell about the people who have ventured there...

Flaubert: A Life
In "Flaubert: A Life," Geoffrey Wall dramatizes the life and times of Gustave Flaubert, who was one of the most enigmatic writers in literary history. His life seems larger than life--too full of troubles, illnesses, personal traumas, and financial fiascos. In this biography, Wall ties together all the threads of Flaubert's life.

Frankenstein
Frankenstein is enormously important as a prototype for science fiction and as an early feminist work.

François Villon's The Legacy & The Testament
François Villon (1434-1465?) was born in Paris when there was great hardship. Out of his experiences with poverty, suffering and imprisonment, Villon created great poetry.

Ghosts
Ghosts is one of Henrik Ibsen's most haunting plays, though not necessarily for the reasons that shocked the public sensibility when it was first produced.

Gimbel the Fool and Other Stories
Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories presents a series of life portraits from the distinct culture of the Polish shtetl of the 19th century.

Great Tales from English History
The tales of English history have captured our imaginations and inspired some of our greatest classics. Characters from history like Geoffrey Chaucer, William Caxton, Thomas More, William Tyndale, Sir Francis Drake, and Queen Elizabeth are prominent in the study of English literature.

Heart of Darkness
Written by Joseph Conrad on the eve of the century that would see the end of the empire that it so significantly critiques, Heart of Darkness is both an adventure story set at the center of a continent represented through breathtaking poetry, as well as a study of the inevitable corruption that comes from the exercise of tyrannical power.

Hedda Gabler
Hedda Gabler does not offer any easy answers. The play is a powerful and emotionally potent portrayal of a woman's alienation from and suffocation by the bourgeois society that she has become a part.

Edith Wharton: Collected Stories, 1891-1910
Edith Warton knew many of the great names of her day: Sinclair Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and others. And her influence can also be seen in the works of young American writers of her time. As an award-winning novelist, she was one of the most important figures of her day. Read more about this collection of stories.

High Adventure
On May 29, 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary successfully reached the summit of Mt. Everest. He was not the first man to attempt an attack on the peak, nor would he be the last. In this memoir, Hillary recounts all of the exhilarating details of his groundbreaking achievement.

Hotel Savoy
Duchan Caudill writes, "In his second novel, 'Hotel Savoy' (1924), Joseph Roth skillfully depicts a string of events in the life of his Gabriel Dan. Roth was intent on portraying in prose the psychology of uprooted, hopeless, and hopeful."

Hound of the Baskervilles, The
This collection allows you to listen to Dr. Mortimer as he introduces the tale. Then, we follow the tale through the discover of the stranger on the moor, the search for the escaped murderer, and the realization of the person or thing really responsible for all of the seemingly supernatural occurrences on the moors of Dartmoor.

How to Read Literature Like a Professor
In his new book, Thomas Foster opens up a new world of literature, drawing from some of the world's greatest classics to explore what literature is, what it means to us, and how we can understand it. It's a fun and entertaining introduction for students and book lovers alike.

I, Roger Williams
Roger Williams was an early American writer, but we have very little real detail about his life and works. Embellishing upon those few surviving fragments of biography and literature, Mary Lee Seattle created this remarkably poetic novel.

Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald: The Rise and Fall of a Literary Fr
Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald were friends for a time ... but circumstances intervened to drive the two men apart. Find out what happened to this great literary friendship.

J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the most important writers of the 20th century. He is recognized for "The Lord of the Rings," a three-volume novel cycle, and for "The Hobbit," a children's book published in 1937.

Jack London's Golden State
In the "Introduction," Gerald Haslam writes, "Jack London has been more widely read and translated than any other American author in history." This book offers selections from many of London's best-known works, which depict adventure in all of its various forms.

Irving: Three Western Narratives
In this addition to the Library of America collection of American literature, James P. Ronda collected three of Irving's most intriguing adventure epics in one definitive volume: "Three Western Narratives."

Jane Austen in Hollywood
In recent years, Jane Austen's works have been converted to music, book adaptations, along with television, film, and stage productions. Linda Troot and Sayre Greenfield explore the Austen phenomenon in its various evolutions.

Jane Austen's Guide to Dating
In this book, Lauren Henderson tiptoes through the minefields of love and relationships with some of Jane Austen's most vivacious and unforgettable characters. "Jane Austen's Guide to Dating" tells you what to do (and not to do) in dating, based on the examples from "Pride and Prejudice," "Northanger Abbey," "Mansfield Park," and "Sense and...

Jane Austen's The History of England
At the age of 16, Jane Austen wrote a parody of Oliver Goldsmith's "History of England. "She entitled her work The History of England, but added "By a partial, prejudiced, & ignorant Historian ... There will be very few Dates in this History.)" She never did like "perfection," preferring rather to employ her wit to provide some representative version of society.

John Greenleaf Whittier: Selected Poems
John Greenleaf Whittier has been called the "Quaker Poet." He's famous for "Snow-Bound," which sold more than 20,000 copies in one month. With this collection, Editor Brenda Wineapple reminds us of the poetry and the life of John Greenleaf Whittier. "Revisited now," the editor sees Whittier as "fresh, honest even flinty and practical."

Kidnapped
Kidnapped is more than a story about a young man's search for his true birthright, however – Stevenson knew that more than that was needed to capture a young adult's attention for the length of an entire novel.

King Arthur
King Arthur appears in the literature of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Chrétien de Troyes, Geoffrey Chaucer, Marie de France, Sir Thomas Malory, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Mark Twain. But, who was he? Who was his queen? And what about the other figures of Arthurian myth and legend: Gawain, Lancelot, Merlin, and Modred?

King Lear
William Shakespeare's King Lear is considered by many readers, audiences and critics to be his masterpiece.

Lady of Shalott
In the "Lady of Shalott," the heroine lives an isolated tower.

Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked
Forget everything you ever thought you knew about fairy tales, and "Little Red Riding Hood." In this book, Catherine Orenstein explores the history of the fairy tale, from the French court, Charles Perrault, Hans Christian Anderson, the brothers Grimm, Bruno Bettelheim, Italo Calvino, Gwen Strauss, and Anne Sexton.

Longfellow: A Rediscovered Life
Perhaps you still remember reciting lines from "The Village Blacksmith" and "Paul Revere's Ride." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was once a world-renowned poet, who helped to create an American mythology. In this new biography, Charles Calhoun sheds light on the life and works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Lost Girl
Published first in 1920, D.H. Lawrence's sixth novel The Lost Girl won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction that year.

Love Letters of Dylan Thomas
A classic Welsh writer, Dylan Thomas is one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. He once wrote of himself: "I hold a beast, an angel, and a madman in me, and my inquiry is as to their working, and my problem is their subjugation and victory, downthrow and upheaval, and my effort is their self expression."

Kate Chopin: Complete Novels and Stories
In this volume, Library of America publishes the complete works of Chopin in one authoritative volume, including many previously uncollected stories. As the publisher writes: "From ruined Louisiana plantations to bustling, cosmopolitan New Orleans, Kate Chopin wrote with unflinching honesty about propriety and its strictures, the illusions of love and the realities of marriage..."

Macbeth
Macbeth is one of the most studied of William Shakespeare's tragic plays and yet, despite its constant place in the school classroom, it still holds a power to harrow its audience.

Man Who Was Thursday
It's refreshing to see, in The Man Who Was Thursday, a rare harmony between form and content. G.K. Chesterton's book is a novel about anarchists that is itself a sustained act of anarchy--or, conversely, a novel about the forces of order that winds the watch of its pristine allegories punctually throughout. Or perhaps it's both at once.

Mark Twain: Gilded Age and Later Novels
This "Gilded Age" collection encompasses Mark Twain's literary career, starting with his first work, "The Gilded Age" ... and carrying us through to his final work, "The Mysterious Stranger," which was left in manuscript format upon his death.

Mary Wollstonecraft: A Revolutionary Life
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) has been a controversial figure in history, not only because of her writings and ideas, but also because of her life. Writers have attempted to discover the roots of her various passions, deciphering the language of her life and words. In this book, Janet Todd presents the first new study of Mary Wollstonecraft to...

Mayor of Casterbridge, The
Rick Moody writes, "When the novel, as a form, strays too far from that quantum mystery of how paradoxically and erratically emotions are felt and lives lived, some movement comes along to right the course of the vessel, and "The Mayor of Casterbridge "is one such rectification."

McCullers: Complete Novels
In her novels, Carson McCullers lets us see into the lives of characters who are lonely, outcast, or just confused. These unforgettable characters brought her critical acclaim and awards, and they also appeared in a play and movie (in the case of "The Member of the Wedding").

Midnight Dreary
This book is a fun read, and will at the very least provide you with interesting trivia about the last days of Edgar Allan Poe.

Moby-Dick
Moby-Dick is a 600+ page book about the sea, where very little happens and you won't care... Moby-Dick reaches out to all regions of the intellect and occupies them in a way that few have come close to doing since.

Moll Flanders
As Duchan Caudill writes, "Defoe presents 'Moll Flanders' in the guise of an autobiography, written by a woman of advanced years. Defoe was adroit at creating a narrative, relaying the details of this life from a woman's point of view."

Lowell: Selected Poems
Amy Lowell was a modernist American poet, who was part of a new generation of poets. She wrote 10 books of poetry, a collection of Chinese translations, 3 books of literary essays, and a 2-volume biography of John Keats. With this essential collection of Amy Lowell's poems from Library of America, the passion and energy of her works emerge.

Mrs. Dalloway
"Mrs. Dalloway" follows Clarissa Dalloway (a 52-year-old woman living in London) through her day, as she prepares for her party that evening. The years since the book was first published in 1925 have been kind to the novel. It has been adapted into a movie, and Michael Cunningham has time warped Woolf's book into his novel "The Hours."

Mrs. Dalloway Reader
In "The Mrs. Dalloway Reader," Francine Prose brings together a unique collection of background material on the life and works of Virginia Woolf, centering on "Mrs. Dalloway." In a discussion of Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway," we begin at the very beginning.

Murder, A Mystery, and A Marriage
A Murder, A Mystery, and A Marriage is a story left very much undone, not for Mark Twain's lack of trying. Twain had dreamed up this "blindfold novelette" scheme, where other famous writers of the day would join him in contributing endings of the story.

Muse Strikes Back
In this book, Katherine McAlpine and Gail White bring together works that respond to the Muse archetype.

Mysterious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Mysterious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a short novella written in the Gothic tradition, although it moves that genre to a different level.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of a number of works of art that came out of 1960s North America. Because of their counter-culture attitude and the distaste for any kind of social authority, these works became grouped together under the term Beat literature.

Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea was an enormous success for Ernest Hemingway when it was published in 1952.

Passage to Ararat
In Passage to Ararat, Michael Arlen journeys into his past, arriving in the land of his ancestry.

Passage to India
E.M. Forster's A Passage to India was written at a time when the end of the British colonial presence in India was becoming a very real possibility.

Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is a touching tale of the friendship between two men--set against the backdrop of the United States during the depression of the 1930s.

People of the Sea
The legends of the selchies come to life with these colorful tales. Read the tales of seals that turn into men and women, or those who rescued young children. There are lots of tales to be told..

Philip Roth Novels
Roth joins the likes of Saul Bellow and Eudora Welty to become an American classic during his own lifetime. Read more about this collection.

Pirate Hunter
Pirates appear in some of our greatest adventure literature. Robert Louis Stevenson and other writers have helped us to imagine the pirate life... In this new book, Richard Zacks explores the pirate life and adventures from the viewpoint of Captain Kidd, a man who has been called a pirate for several centuries.

Poet and the Murderer
In "The Poet and the Murderer," Simon Worrall traces the path of one notorious forger, Mark Hofman, a man who was so adept at his trade that he created thousands of forgeries of historical documents, including faked manuscripts of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and other famous writers.

Poetry Speaks
Hear great writers read their works. This anthology collects the voices of great poets like Walt Whitman, Robert Browning, Tennyson, William Butler Yeats, Gertrude Stein, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Wallace Stevens, T.S. Eliot, and others.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
There are two kinds of classic books. The former consist of all the stories that, once heard, seem to demand a telling: the war of Satan against Heaven, the journeys of a man convinced of his status as a knight, the struggle for redemption faced by a man who sells his soul to the devil. Read more about James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as...

Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde's only novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) is a classic instance of the aestheticism of the late 19th century's English literature.

Postmodern Pooh
"Postmodern Pooh" is a critical update to the satire, "Pooh Perplex," which Frederick Crews created in 1964. More than that, you'll read some interesting views on Winnie the Pooh, everyone's favorite bear.

Purloined Letter
Written by Edgar Allan Poe, a writer who excelled in both poetry and the short story form, "The Purloined Letter" is one of a number of stories based around Poe's fictional detective Dupin (who was first introduced in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue").

Pygmalion
George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" first appeared in 1912; and it has provided entertainment ever since. It was first performed in 1913; and was published in 1916. It's a comedy that's all about class and human relationships.

Rainbow
The Rainbow, published first in 1915, is the complete and exquisitely organized form of D.H. Lawrence's views about familial relationships.

Pride and Prejudice
The book's plot deals with the five Bennet sisters, whose fanatically prosaic mother obsesses over marrying off as quickly and as advantageously as possible.

Real Trial of Oscar Wilde
In the transcripts, Wilde pulls off characteristically witty lines, without regard to how his words will affect the outcome of his case.

Real Trial of Oscar Wilde, The
"The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde" offers a look at some of the most dramatic moments in Oscar Wilde's life, but the records for those trials have remained unpublished since 1895, deemed "unfit for publication." Now, HarperCollins introduces the first published transcripts of Wilde's trial, complete with an introduction and commentary by Merlin Holland, Wilde's grandson.

Reef
The plot of The Reef is nucleated around the complexity of relationship between three leading characters: George Darrow, Sophy Viner, and Anna Leath.

Refiguring Huckleberry Finn
In "Refiguring Huckleberry Finn," Carl Wieck tackles Huck's famous story with a passion, saying: "The following pages have furnished me with the princely privilege of skipping along for a space with the sprightly Mark Twain, and I am grateful to him for sharing so much with us all."

Reading Diary
In A Reading Diary, Alberto Manguel writes about what he's reading, as he makes connections with world events, with books he's read in the past, and books on his list to read. As he writes about the experience of reading, he notices how the world around him changes in what seems to be his hap-paced mad ride through literature and life.

Reporting World War II
The book is, as Ambrose explains, "an account of people caught in the maelstrom." They are "ordinary people from all walks of life," who got caught up in a series of events that changed the world. And they would never be the same.

Powell: Novels 1930-1942
In 1922, Powell began work on her first novel, "Whither, "which was published in 1925. She wrote "She Walks in Beauty" in 1925, though this novel wasn't published until 1928. And, she began "The Bride's House," which was published in 1929. Read more about this collection of novels.

Return to Treasure Island and the Search for Captain Kidd
"Treasure Island" is Robert Louis Stevenson's novel about a young boy, Jim Hawkins, who follows a treasure map to discover a long-lost treasure. But, he was not alone. This book briefly explores the history of Stevenson's "Treasure Island" as Barry Clifford searches for the truth behind the legends of Captain Kidd and Treasure Island.

Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography
In this mythic biography, Stephen Knight traces the origins of the legend, providing invaluable insights into why Robin Hood is still such an essential and evolving legend in our culture and literature. Here, Knight presents many of the truths and fallacies of Robin Hood, as he explores our conceptions and representations of the legend.

Professor and the Madman
The "Oxford English Dictionary" is one of the greatest achievements in English literature, but it didn't happen overnight. In "Professor and the Madman," Simon Winchester delves into the mysterious history of this great text.

Room of One's Own
A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf, is a mighty proposition for women's independence in creative endeavors.

Samson Agonistes
Samson Agonistes is a blank verse play by John Milton. The work is heavily indebted to Greek tragedy, but with a Biblical hero.

Saul Bellow: Novels 1956-1964: Seize the Day, Henderson the Rain King,
Saul Bellow is one of the most gifted writers ever to bless readers with an examination of the modern human condition.

Robinson Crusoe
Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe was inspired by the story of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor who went to sea in 1704.

Seagull
The Seagull is Anton Chekhov's most well-known and best-loved play; the work exhibits all of the qualities that helped to cement the Russian playwright in the minds and hearts of theatre-goers around the world.

Sidetracks
"To be sidetracked is, after all, to be led astray by a path or an idea, a scent or a tune, and maybe lost forever. But no true biographer would mind that, if he can take a few readers with him." And so, we are introduced to the theme of this work ... by Richard Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes: A Baker Dozen
Sherlock Holmes first appeared in 1887, with A Study in Scarlet. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle went on to write four novels and a total of 60 stories, which appeared in five volumes.

Sinclair Lewis: Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry & Dodsworth
Learn more about Sinclair Lewis and his status as a great American writer, with these collections of his works. "Main Street" was the work for which Lewis received the Pulitzer Prize (which he refused). In 1930, Lewis was also awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Singular Mark Twain
Mark Twain is one of the most popular names in American literature, even as the name was a product of his imagination. With "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," Twain created one of the most controversial works in literary history, which is spiced with humor and resonating with tragedy. Ernest Hemingway once said, "All modern literature comes...

So Big
Edna Ferber's "So Big" received the Pulitzer Prize in 1924, and is considered by many to be the author's most popular work. She created the work for herself. She said, "I wrote my book because I wanted to write it more than anything in the world."

St. Patrick of Ireland
St. Patrick is a legendary figure in Irish history and literature--so famous that a day is named after him. Medieval stories surround St. Patrick, describing how he drove the snakes out of Ireland, converted all of Ireland to Christianity, how he explained the Trinity with a shamrock, and how his coming was foretold by Druid priests.

Steinbeck Novels
The novels in this newest volume of collected works begin to explore new frontiers in John Steinbeck's writing, as he takes us to Europe, to Mexico, and then back home to his California. Now, the most recent volume includes some of Steinbeck's most beloved works: "The Moon is Down," "Cannery Row," "The Pearl," and "East of Eden."

Singer: Collected Stories
"Open one of his books anywhere," Joyce Carol Oates says, "the words leap out with a power that would seem to us demonic if it were not, at the very same time, so utterly plausible." Isaac Bashevis Singer's stories are filled with temptation: the lure of power and money, the demands of lust and obsession.

Tempest
The Tempest, by William Shakespeare, was his final play. The Tempest is considered one of Shakespeare's greatest works.

Tennessee Williams: Plays 1937-1955
Tennessee Williams was named Thomas Lanier Williams when he was born in Columbus, Mississippi on March 26, 1911. "The Glass Menagerie "was his first successful play, and since that work was performed in 1944, his plays have been performed all over the world. He's usually named with Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller as one of the three leading...

Skin of Our Teeth, The
"The Skin of Our Teeth," by Thornton Wilder was published in 1943 to critical and controversial acclaim. The play is a hilarious romp through human experience, taking in many of the prominent voices in literary history; but the play has a darker side as well.

The Great Mortality
It was a time of death and dying. Thousands of people fled before the devastating onslaught of the Black Death, but the horror was unrelenting. In "The Great Mortality," John Kelly takes us back to "one of the seminal events of the last millennium"--drawing from the pages of memoirs, poetry, letters, and fictional accounts.

The Hound of the Baskervilles
"The Hound of the Baskerville," a tale of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was first published in serial form in 1901, then in book form in 1902. It's the story of an age-old curse and the deadly ramifications for the Baskerville family. The mystery goes back generations, but Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are on the case.

The Journey That Saved Curious George
Tales of great adventures and escapes always seem to capture our imaginations, and make us believe that anything is possible. Perhaps that's one of the reasons that the adventures of Margret and H.A. Rey is so tantalizing.

The Love Letters of Dylan Thomas
A classic Welsh writer, Dylan Thomas is one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. He once wrote of himself: "I hold a beast, an angel, and a madman in me, and my inquiry is as to their working, and my problem is their subjugation and victory, downthrow and upheaval, and my effort is their self expression."

The Measure of Life: Virginia Woolf's Last Years
Herbert Marder conceptualizes the last ten years of Virginia Woolf's life, focusing on her revolutionary works, which she created before committing suicide in 1941.

The Immoralist
From the pen of Andre Gide comes one of the most tedious books ever to shock a nation, although the only shock to this reviewer was in how ninety-nine pages of a Dover Thrift edition could contain so few actual events.

The Keys of Egypt
The first representations of Egyptian writing appeared around 3000 B.C. Jean-Francois Champollion, a Frenchman, was the first to effectively decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs in 1812. With his new discoveries, scholars from around the world were able to read and understand Egyptian literature for the first time. It was revolutionary!

The Muse Strikes Back
In this book, Katherine McAlpine and Gail White bring together works that respond to the Muse archetype. As the editors explain: "In studying the male poetic canon ... we find few women with identities, minds and agendas of their own, few flesh-and-blood heroines like Chaucer's Wife of Bath."

The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde
"The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde" offers a look at some of the most dramatic moments in Oscar Wilde's life, but the records for those trials have remained unpublished since 1895, deemed "unfit for publication."

The Professor and the Madman
The "Oxford English Dictionary" is one of the greatest achievements in English literature, but it didn't happen overnight. In "Professor and the Madman," Simon Winchester delves into the mysterious history of this great text. Along the way, he highlights several of the major contributors. It's really their story...

The Secret Life of W.B. Yeats
Ghosts are usually thought of as scary apparitions to be avoided. For William Butler Yeats, ghosts took on many forms. They were more than just myths or legends. Despite the many frauds he'd met, he still believed in ghosts and he wanted answers!

The Rise and Fall of a Literary Friendship
In "Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald," Scott Donaldson draws from a career in the study of Hemingway and Fitzgerald to create a complete story of the friendship between the two men.

Theodore Roethke: Selected Poems
Theodore Roethke was a poet haunted by his inner demons, just as he strove to reach "a new level of reality" with his exploration of words and language. As Roethke wrote, "we must permit poetry to extend consciousness as far, as deeply, as particular as it can."

These Honored Dead
The ghosts of the past come back to haunt us. In "These Honored Dead," Thomas Desjardin mines the literature of the Battle of Gettysburg to demythologize the bloodiest, and most famous, battle of the Civil War.

Thibaults
Duchan Caudill writes, "Written between 1922 and 1929, this 800-page chronicle of a Parisian family is a rewarding work for readers interested primarily in psychological motivations of complex, life-like characters."

Those Who Remain Will Always Remember: An Anthology
Anne Brewster, Angeline O'Neill and Rosemary van den Berg have collected stories, poems, legends, song lyrics, essays, and commentaries in this remarkable anthology.

Three Chinese Poets
In this slim volume, Vikram Seth offers translations for three eighth-century Chinese poets: Wang Wei, Li Bai (or Li Po), and Du Fu (or Tu Fu).

Three Vampire Tales
In "Three Vampire Tales," a new collection edited by Anne Williams, famous vampire works: Bram Stoker's "Dracula," Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla," and John Polidori's "The Vampyre." This anthology also features Lord Byron's "The Giaiour," Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Christabel," James Malcom Rhymer's "Varney the Vampire," and Bram Stoker's story,...

Time Machine
At only about 100 pages, The Time Machine is a fast, easy read.

Titles
Find titles in Classic Literature, from American, British, Irish, German, and other world literature.

The Tested Woman Plot
In "The Tested Woman Plot," Lois Butler examines the evolution of a plot over time. She doesn't just look at "any story." Instead, she focuses on works that contain specific kinds of characters, with unique structural and cultural elements.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee's coming-of-age tale is set in the Deep South, and is a searing portrayal of race and prejudice told through the eyes of a little girl.

To Walt Whitman, America
Walt Whitman burst upon the literary scene in 1855 with the first publication of "Leaves of Grass." The world of literature would never be the same again.

Tolkien in the Land of Heroes
Anne Petty explores the history of heroism in Tolkien's Middle-earth with her new book, "Tolkien in the Land of Heroes."

Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
Like many of Mark Twain's books offering commentary on the institution of slavery and the pervading culture of discrimination, The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson takes place in a historical setting.

Treasure Island
Published first as a serial in a boys' magazine in 1881-82 and then in book form in 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island is without a doubt one of the best-loved children's adventure novels of all time.

Tree Grows in Brooklyn
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is now considered an essential part of American literature. As an indispensable classic, Smith's book appears on reading lists across the country. It has profoundly influenced readers from all walks of life--young and old alike. The New York Public Library even chose the book as one of the "Books of the Century."

Thoreau: Collected Essays and Poems
To explore the breadth and intensity of Thoreau's work, Elizabeth Hall Witherell brings together Thoreau's work in one authoritative collection — for the first time. But, Thoreau wrote more than just essays... Read more about this collection.

Virginia Woolf's Nose - - Essays on Biography
In this collection of essays about Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, and Percy Bysshe Shelley, Hermione Lee attempts to answer the questions of how biographers circumnavigate the gaps in biographical data to produce the most complete and accurate account possible.

Walden
Walden was published around 1854, during the reign of the transcendentalists; in fact, Henry David Thoreau, the book's author, was a member of the movement. If transcendentalism were around today, we would probably call its followers: new-age folk, hippies, or nonconformists. In fact, much of what transcendentalism stood for back then is...

West of the Border
West of the Border" is a discussion of the borderland upon which multicultural writers position themselves. Noreen Groover Lape explores the contradictions in American society, brought about by cultural contact points. These points of contact create chaos and contradictions, but they also create the catalysts by which multicultural literary voices emerge.

Wharton: Collected Stories, 1891-1910
Edith Warton knew many of the great names of her day: Sinclair Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and others. And her influence can also be seen in the works of young American writers of her time. As an award-winning novelist, she was one of the most important figures of her day. Read more about this collection of stories.

What Happens in Literature
In "What Happens in Literature," Edward W. Rosenheim offers a brief discussion of the basics of literature, including poems, novels and plays. He argues that the main focus of reading literature should be to derive pleasure or appreciation from the written words.

When Washington Was in Vogue
"When Washington Was in Vogue" is a love story--told in a series of letters from Davy Carr to Bob Fletcher, a friend in Harlem. The book is remarkable as the first epistolary novel in African-American literary history, and as an important contribution to the Harlem Renaissance.

Wild Oats
John O'Keefe's "Wild Oats" is a riotous comic affair, filled with mistaken identity, love interest, Shakespearean innuendo, and Restoration rakish wit.

William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s
In "William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s," Saree Makdisi explores the enigmatic character of William Blake, as he fits into the history of his age. Blake is seen as "improbable and impossible," but that off-kilter madness is part of what makes Blake's work so spectacular. "For Blake's work, as Makdisi writes, "invokes a world of spirits and of imaginative power, a sense of time as fractured and unevenly heterogeneous, as sense of sharing and being in common..."

William Faulkner: A Critical Study
William Faulkner is an important figure in American literature. His works include: "The Sound and the Fury" (1929), "As I Lay Dying" (1930), "Sanctuary" (1931), "Light in August" (1932), "Absalom, Absalom" (1936), and other works. Read more about this critical study of his life and works.

Writing Marginality in Modern French Literature
Edward J. Hughes explores the tensions that arise in the works of six modern French writers: Pierre Loti, Paul Gauguin, Proust, Montherlant, Camus, and Jean Genet. In the "Introduction," he explains that his "chosen authors explore, anecdotally or theoretically, an often anxious exoticism, drawing out the social, ethical and sensual tensions that this anxiety entails."

William Carlos Williams: Selected Poems
"No poetry is more fresh, more immediate, more deftly challenging," writes editor Robert Pinsky. "William Carlos Williams is at the center of one of poetry's greatest historical flowerings." In this new collection of William Carlos Williams, you'll find some of his most famous poems, along with a discussion of his life and works.

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