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Literary Criticism


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Literary Criticism
Staff Picks


There are 24 books in this aisle.

Featured Titles in Literary Criticism - Staff Picks
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The Boys of My Youth
The Boys of My Youth
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)

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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)

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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
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Used - Trade Paper

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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)

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Letters From the Earth : Uncensored Writings By Mark Twain (91 Edition)
Letters From the Earth : Uncensored Writings By Mark Twain (91 Edition)
by Mark Twain
Staff Pick
If the only Twain you've ever read is Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, or Connecticut Yankee, this collection shall prove much more than surprising (either pleasantly or appallingly, depending on your sensibilities). Published posthumously despite the objections... (read more)

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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)

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Used - Hardcover

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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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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 - Mass Market

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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)

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Sale - Hardcover

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Harper Lee's to Kill a Mockingbird (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)
Harper Lee's to Kill a Mockingbird (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)
by Harold Bloom
Staff Pick
We didn't read this in high school. The assigned book was The Scarlet Letter, which was already a favorite of mine. Recently, however, I decided that I'd ignored To Kill a Mockingbird for too long. If you haven't read it, or if it's been awhile since you... (read more)

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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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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)

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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)

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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)

List Price $14.00
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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)

Your price: $27.00
New - Hardcover

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The Art of the Sonnet
The Art of the Sonnet
by Stephen Burt and David Mikics
Staff Pick
You can read this book for its remarkable selection from 450 years of English-language sonnets, or delve into the accompanying essays through which Burt and Mikics shed light on why — and how — the sonnet has remained one of the longest-lived verse... (read more)

Your price: $42.50
New - 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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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)

List Price $15.95
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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)

Your price: $10.95
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Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature
Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature
by Daniel Levin Becker
Staff Pick
Ebullient to those already under the Oulipian spell and likely befuddling to those ingenuity intolerant, Daniel Levin Becker's Many Subtle Channels is a fascinating, engaging, and well-researched account of Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle... (read more)

Your price: $27.95
New - Hardcover

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