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    Contributors | September 15, 2015

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Other titles in the Viking Critical Library series:

White Noise Critical: Text and Criticism (Viking Critical Library)


White Noise Critical: Text and Criticism (Viking Critical Library) Cover



Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Winner of the National Book Award in 1985, Don DeLillo's novel about an ultramodern family bound by love and remarriage, shopping and television, is a postmodern masterpiece. The Viking Critical Library edition of White Noise contains the complete text of the novel along with extensive critical and contextual material including:
  • A critical introduction by DeLillo scholar Mark Osteen
  • Published interviews with DeLillo on White Noise including a Paris Review interview by Adam Begley
  • Relevant excerpts from other works by DeLillo
  • Reportage of current events from the time of publication
  • Selected reviews of White Noise by Diane Johnson, Pico lyer, and others
  • Critical essays on White Noise by Frank Lentricchia, Arthur M. Saltzman, Tom LeClair, Paul Maltby, and other scholars
  • A chronology of DeLillo's life and work, a list of topics for discussion and papers, and a bibliography


Winner of the National Book Award in 1985, White Noise is the story of Jack and Babette and their children from their six or so various marriages. They live in a college town where Jack is Professor of Hitler Studies (and conceals the fact that he does not speak a word of German), and Babette teaches posture and volunteers by reading from the tabloids to a group of elderly shut-ins. They are happy enough until a deadly toxic accident and Babette's addiction to an experimental drug make Jack question everything. White Noise is considered a postmodern classic and its unfolding of themes of consumerism, family and divorce, and technology as a deadly threat have attracted the attention of literary scholars since its publication.

This Viking Critical Library edition, prepared by scholar Mark Osteen, is the only edition of White Noise that contains the entire text along with an extensive critical apparatus, including a critical introduction, selected essays on the author, the work and its themes, reviews, a chronology of DeLillo's life and work, a list of discussion topics, and a selected bibliography.

About the Author

Don DeLillo published his first short story when he was twenty-three years old. He has since written twelve novels, including White Noise (1985) which won the National Book Award. It was followed by Libra (1988), his novel about the assassination of President Kennedy, and by Mao II, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

In 1997, he published the bestselling Underworld, and in 1999 he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize, given to a writer whose work expresses the theme of the freedom of the individual in society; he was the first American author to receive it. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Table of Contents

White Noise Introduction


I. White Noise: The Text

II. Contexts

ANTHONY DECURTIS, from Matters of Fact and Fiction

ADAM BEGLEY, from Don DeLillo: The Art of Fiction

CARYN JAMES, "'I Never Set Out to Write an Apocalyptic Novel'"

DON DELILLO, from Americana

DON DELILLO, from End Zone

DON DELILLO, from Players

DON DELILLO, Silhouette City: Hitler, Manson and the Millennium

Newsweek, Stories on the toxic leak at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India

III. Reviews

SOL YURICK, Fleeing Death in a World of Hyper-Babble

ALBERT MOBILIO, Death by Inches

DIANE JOHNSON, Conspirators

PICO IYER, A Connoisseur of Fear

IV. Critical Essays

TOM LECLAIR, Closing the Loop: White Noise

FRANK LENTRICCHIA, Don DeLillo's Primal Scenes

JOHN FROW, The Last Things Before the Last: Notes on White Noise

JOHN N. DUVALL, The (Super)Marketplace of Images: Television as Unmediated Meditation in DeLillo's White Noise

CORNEL BONCA, Don DeLillo's White Noise: The Natural Language of the Species

ARTHUR M. SALTZMAN, The Figure in the Static: White Noise

PAUL MALTBY, The Romantic Metaphysics of Don DeLillo

Topics for Discussion and Papers

Selected Bibliography

Product Details

Osteen, Mark
Osteen, Mark
DeLillo, Don
Penguin Books
New York, N.Y.
Humorous Stories
Middle west
College teachers
Industrial accidents
Death -- Fiction.
Literature/Literary Criticism
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Critical Library, Viking
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
7.84 x 5.14 x 1 in 0.8 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Linguistics » Specific Languages and Groups
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Reference » Words Phrases and Language
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Applied

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