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Literary Criticism
Staff Picks


There are 26 books in this aisle.

Featured Titles in Literary Criticism - Staff Picks
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All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West
All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West
by David Gessner
Publisher Comments
Archetypal wild man Edward Abbey and proper, dedicated Wallace Stegner left their footprints all over the western landscape. Now, the award-winning nature writer David Gessner follows the ghosts of these two remarkable writer-environmentalists--from... (read more)

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Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them
Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them
by Francine Prose
Staff Pick
Reading Like a Writer is a treasure chest. You can crack it open at any chapter and come away enriched. Prose is one of the best teachers around, and for the price of a paperback, you are getting an Ivy League education in writing. For people who love... (read more)

List Price $23.99
Your price: $7.95
Used - Hardcover

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Autobiography of Mark Twain: The Complete and Authoritative Edition, Volume 1 (Mark Twain Papers)
Autobiography of Mark Twain: The Complete and Authoritative Edition, Volume 1 (Mark Twain Papers)
by Mark Twain
Staff Pick
At last, the wait is over! Exactly 100 years after his death, Mark Twain's autobiography is finally available. In this first of three volumes, the great Samuel Clemens tells his most epic tale of all: the frank and fascinating story of his remarkable... (read more)

List Price $45.00
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Used - Hardcover

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Legs Get Led Astray
Legs Get Led Astray
by Chloe Caldwell
Staff Pick
I've read this book twice. And both times I've been blown away (and sometimes shocked) by the raw honesty in the pages. But if I were to tell you what shocked me, it wouldn't be the sex and drugs. It would be that I was left with an overwhelming sense of... (read more)

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Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.)
Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.)
by Francine Prose
Staff Pick
Reading Like a Writer is a treasure chest. You can crack it open at any chapter and come away enriched. Prose is one of the best teachers around, and for the price of a paperback, you are getting an Ivy League education in writing. For people who love... (read more)

List Price $15.99
Your price: $8.95
Used - Trade Paper

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Lover's Discourse
Lover's Discourse
by Roland Barthes
Staff Pick
French literary theorist Roland Barthes' philosophical treatise on love is a study not only of Eros, but also of desire, jealousy, and the linguistics of love. Presented in fragments written from the perspective of a fictionalized unrequited lover, this... (read more)

Your price: $15.00
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Northanger Abbey (Norton Critical Edition)
Northanger Abbey (Norton Critical Edition)
by Jane Austen
Staff Pick
Now this is one Austen novel that is too often forgotten. Our heroine, Catherine Morland, might be naïve, but she is no dummy. Catherine is more complex than scholars give her credit for. I admit, she can create ridiculous fantasies that get her into... (read more)

Your price: $23.25
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I Think You're Totally Wrong: A Quarrel
I Think You're Totally Wrong: A Quarrel
by David Shields and Caleb Powell
Staff Pick
In this hilarious and thought-provoking book, Powell and Shields spend an extended weekend at a cabin debating the merits of each of their chosen lifestyles. Powell, a stay-at-home dad, is committed to embracing life to the fullest. Shields, a prolific... (read more)

List Price $25.95
Your price: $17.95
Used - Hardcover

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Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home
Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home
by Susan Hill
Staff Pick
Struck by the sudden realization that she possesses quite a few books she's never read, author Susan Hill decides to take a year off buying books so that she can read, and reread, the many treasures in her possession. Howards End Is on the Landing is the... (read more)

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Boys of My Youth (98 Edition)
Boys of My Youth (98 Edition)
by Jo Ann Beard
Staff Pick
Existing somewhere between a memoir and an essay collection, The Boys of My Youth lives in a genre all its own. It is so addicting, and if you didn't know it was nonfiction, you'd assume it was a book of short stories. The best book I've read in years.... (read more)

List Price $14.00
Your price: $8.00
Used - Trade Paper

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Poetic Edda the Mythological Poems
Poetic Edda the Mythological Poems
by Henry Adams Bellows
Staff Pick
The Poetic Edda is an excellent introduction to the Norse mythology that heavily influenced the works of authors such as Borges, Nietzche, and Tolkien. Henry Adams Bellows's translation is engaging. And, though it is well-annotated, it is never... (read more)

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ABC of Reading
ABC of Reading
by Ezra Pound
Staff Pick
Welcome to Ezuversity. No tuition and just this one textbook. "ABC or gradus ad Parnassum, for those who like to learn."... (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper

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The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and the Imagination
The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and the Imagination
by Wallace Stevens
Staff Pick
Inscrutable poet-of-ideas Wallace Stevens is a deepening favorite of mine. This, despite the fact that I don't always understand his poems. This, despite the fact that even when I think I might understand, the precision of a world glimpsed in a "jar from... (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper

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The Alice behind Wonderland
The Alice behind Wonderland
by Simon Winchester
Staff Pick
Simon Winchester makes everything within his intense gaze come amazingly alive. Here, he turns his attention to Charles Dodgson (better knows as Lewis Carroll of Alice in Wonderland fame). Winchester looks at the critical period in Dodgson's life in... (read more)

List Price $17.95
Your price: $5.95
Used - Hardcover

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Reality Hunger: A Manifesto
Reality Hunger: A Manifesto
by David Shields
Staff Pick
In Reality Hunger, Shields draws from classic and contemporary sources — artists, writers, philosophers, and more — to present a collage of ideas that is erudite and provocative. It's a book of intentional plagiarism that casts new light on ideas of... (read more)

List Price $24.95
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Used - Hardcover

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The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death
The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death
by David Shields and Bradford Morrow
Staff Pick
You are going to die. If that incontrovertible fact bums you out, you may want to read The Inevitable, which contains 20 essays about death that are alternately funny, sad, enlightening, and fascinating. The book doesn't pretend to have the the answers... (read more)

List Price $17.95
Your price: $6.50
Used - Trade Paper

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The Language of Inquiry
The Language of Inquiry
by Lyn Hejinian
Staff Pick
Lyn Hejinian is one of the most prominent figures in contemporary American poetry. Living and writing in the Bay Area for most of her life, she is a professor, translator, poet, etc. Recently she has worked with musician John Zorn on a cross-media... (read more)

Your price: $44.50
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The Polysyllabic Spree
The Polysyllabic Spree
by Nick Hornby
Staff Pick
Name one other book critic that consistently makes you laugh out loud without denigrating the work of his subject. Right, you can't. (If you can, please, let me know.) Hornby's monthly "What I've Been Reading" columns for the Believer magazine (collected... (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper

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Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books
Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books
by Claudia Roth Pierpont
Staff Pick
Finally, a "biography" on the world's greatest living writer. Roth Unbound is more of a look at Philip Roth's novels than his life, but his work is very autobiographical, so the reader gets plenty of his personal life as well. As a fan of Roth, Roth... (read more)

List Price $27.00
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Used - Hardcover

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Housekeeping vs. the Dirt: Fourteen Months of Massively Witty Adventures in Reading Chronicled by the National Book Critics Circle Finalist for Criticism
Housekeeping vs. the Dirt: Fourteen Months of Massively Witty Adventures in Reading Chronicled by the National Book Critics Circle Finalist for Criticism
by Nick Hornby
Staff Pick
Nick Hornby makes lit-crit as entertaining as your favorite novel with this collection of witty and expansive book columns for the Believer magazine. Hornby is open about a book's limitations, and brutally honest about his own, but when he loves a book... (read more)

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