Faculty Bookshelf

English Faculty Publications, Listed by Publication Date

David Bromwich
June 2019
Sooner or later, our words take on meanings other than we intended. How Words Make Things Happensuggests that the conventional idea of persuasive rhetoric (which assumes a speaker’s control of calculated effects) and the modern idea of literary autonomy (which assumes that ‘poetry makes...
June 2019
Donald Trump’s residency in the White House is not an accident of American history, and it can’t be blamed on a single cause. In American Breakdown, David Bromwich provides an essential analysis of the forces in play beneath the surface of our political system. His portraits of political leaders...
June 2019
Texts of different kinds grant insight into the rich cultural canvas of the Middle Ages: epic poetry, vernacular lyric, and music; liturgical rites and ceremonial manuals; manuscripts, illuminations, modern adaptations and editions, and many more. Adopting a range of disciplinary perspectives—...
Our Man
May 2019
“Portrays Holbrooke in all of his endearing and exasperating self-willed glory…Both a sweeping diplomatic history and a Shakespearean tragicomedy… If you could read one book to comprehend American’s foreign policy and its quixotic forays into quicksands over the past 50 years,...
May 2019
The problem of environmental degradation on the African continent is a severe one. In this book, Cajetan Iheka analyzes how African literary texts have engaged with pressing ecological problems in Africa, including the Niger Delta oil pollution in Nigeria, ecologies of war in Somalia, and animal...
April 2019
In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving “Brotherhood of the Arts,” two...
January 2019
Explores both the theory and practice of rhythm in literature with a focus on nineteenth and twentieth-century poetry. Emphasis on rhythm’s role in contemporary literary criticism, including debates about poetic form and genre. “What does it mean, and what has it meant historically, to participate...
November 2018
This essay collection examines the representations of migration in African literature, film, and other visual media. Inspired by the proliferation of texts focused on this theme and the ongoing migration crises, essays in the volume probe the ways in which African cultural productions shape and are...
Jonathan Kramnick
September 2018
How do poems and novels create a sense of mind? What does literary criticism say in conversation with other disciplines that addresses problems of consciousness? In Paper Minds, Jonathan Kramnick takes up these vital questions, exploring the relations between mind and environment, the literary...
Bob Woodward
September 2018
With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from...
Randi Epstein
June 2018
A guided tour through the strange science of hormones and the age-old quest to control them. Metabolism, behavior, sleep, mood swings, the immune system, fighting, fleeing, puberty, and sex: these are just a few of the things our bodies control with hormones. Armed with a healthy dose of wit and...
Steven Brill
May 2018
In this revelatory narrative covering the years 1967 to 2017, Steven Brill gives us a stunningly cogent picture of the broken system at the heart of our society. He shows us how, over the last half century, America’s core values—meritocracy, innovation, due process, free speech, and even democracy...
David Kastan
May 2018
Ranging from Homer to Picasso, and from the Iranian Revolution to The Wizard of Oz, this spirited and radiant book awakens us anew to the role of color in our lives Our lives are saturated by color. We live in a world of vivid colors, and color marks our psychological and social existence. But for...
Richard Deming
May 2018
Cutting across literature, film, art, and philosophy, Art of the Ordinary is a trailblazing, cross-disciplinary engagement with the ordinary and the everyday. Because, writes Richard Deming, the ordinary is always at hand, it is, in fact, too familiar for us to perceive it and become fully aware...
Caryl Phillips
May 2018
Award-winning author Caryl Phillips presents a biographical novel of the life of Jean Rhys, the author of Wide Sargasso Sea, which she wrote as a prequel to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Caryl Phillips’s A View of the Empire at Sunset is the sweeping story of the life of the woman who became known...
May 2018
2019 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award Finalist “Science book of the year”—The Guardian One of New York Times 100 Notable Books for 2018 One of Publishers Weekly’s Top Ten Books of 2018 One of Kirkus’s Best Books of 2018  One of Mental Floss’s Best Books of 2018 One...
Traugott Lawler
April 2018
“Of all the poems of the English Middle Ages, Piers Plowman is the one that most deserves and needs annotation of the fullest and best possible kind, both because it is a text of unrivaled literary quality and interest, and because it is characteristically knotty and deploys a language of unusual...
Marta Figlerowicz
December 2017
Can other people notice our affects more easily than we do? In Spaces of Feeling, Marta Figlerowicz examines modernist novels and poems that treat this possibility as electrifying, but also deeply disturbing. Their characters and lyric speakers are undone, Figlerowicz posits, by the realization...
Emily Skillings
October 2017
In her highly anticipated debut collection, Fort Not, Emily Skillings creates an “atmosphere for encounter,” akin to searching for meaning through lip-reading. We soon realize that these poems are speaking to us in tones that appear elegantly improvisational. And while the poems may “shout from the...
September 2017
A groundbreaking new collection by a celebrated writer of “ambitious and dynamic poems” (New York Times). From the acclaimed poet and critic Meghan O’Rourke comes a powerful collection about the frailty of the body, the longing for a child, and the philosophical questions raised when the body goes...
Joseph North
May 2017
Literary Criticism offers a concise overview of literary studies in the English-speaking world from the early twentieth century to the present. Joseph North steps back from the usual tangle of figures, schools, and movements in order to analyze the intellectual paradigms that underpinned them. The...
Peter Cole
May 2017
Hymns & Qualms brings together MacArthur Fellow Peter Cole’s acclaimed poetry and translations, weaving them into a helical whole. Praised for his “prosodic mastery” and “keen moral intelligence” (American Poets), and for the “rigor, vigor, joy, and wit” of his poetry (The Paris Review), Cole...
April 2017
Over the course of his thirteen years as president of Duke University, Richard H. Brodhead spoke at numerous university ceremonies, community forums, and faculty meetings, and even appeared on The Colbert Report. Speaking of Duke collects dozens of these speeches, in which Brodhead speaks both to...
Louise Glück
April 2017
Five decades after her debut poetry collection, Firstborn, Louise Glück is a towering figure in American letters. Written with the same probing, analytic control that has long distinguished her poetry, American Originality is Glück’s second book of essays—her first, Proofs and Theories, won the...
Cynthia Zarin
March 2017
In this, her fifth collection, Zarin turns her lyric lens on the worlds within worlds we inhabit and how we navigate our shared predicament—the tables of our lives on which the news of the day is strewn: the president speaking to parishioners in Charleston, the ricochet of violence, near and far....
January 2017
“[Why Time Flies] captures us. Because it opens up a well of fascinating queries and gives us a glimpse of what has become an ever more deepening mystery for humans: the nature of time.” —The New York Times Book Review “Erudite and informative, a joy with many small treasures.” —Science “Time” is...
Marta Figlerowicz
November 2016
Flat Protagonists is a book of literary theory that examines a selection of British and French novels ranging from the late seventeenth to the early twentieth century. The authors it discusses are Aphra Behn, Isabelle de Charrière, Françoise de Graffigny, Thomas Hardy, and Marcel Proust. These...
Brian Walsh, Editor
October 2016
This is the first collection of essays to be dedicated solely to The Revenger’s Tragedy, one of the most vital and enduring tragedies of the Jacobean era, and one of the few non-Shakespearean plays of that period that is still regularly revived on stage and taught in classrooms. Notable for its...
Michael Cunningham
October 2016
A poisoned apple and a monkey’s paw with the power to change fate; a girl whose extraordinarily long hair causes catastrophe; a man with one human arm and one swan’s wing; and a house constructed of gumdrops and gingerbread. In A Wild Swan and Other Tales, the people and the talismans of lands far...
Emily Thornbury
September 2016
Combining historical, literary and linguistic evidence from Old English and Latin, Becoming a Poet in Anglo-Saxon England creates a new, more complete picture of who and what pre-Conquest English poets really were. It includes a study of Anglo-Saxon words for ‘poet’ and the first list of named...
Amy Hungerford
August 2016
How does new writing emerge and find readers today? Why does one writer’s work become famous while another’s remains invisible? Making Literature Now tells the stories of the creators, editors, readers, and critics who make their living by making literature itself come alive. The book...
Brian Walsh
May 2016
Unsettled Toleration investigates how plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries grappled with the reality of a fractured Christendom some sixty years after the Reformation initiated by King Henry VIII. Through careful historical research and close literary analysis, Brian Walsh shows how the...
April 2016
Poetry. DAY FOR NIGHT, Richard Deming’s searching new collection of poems, takes its title from the cinematic term for shooting night scenes during the day. With a complex lyricism, these poems often explore the ways that art, in whatever form, creates the possibilities of an address by which...
Caleb Smith
January 2016
The earliest known prison memoir by an African American writer—recently discovered and authenticated by a team of Yale scholars—sheds light on the longstanding connection between race and incarceration, slavery and the penal system in America.  In 2009, scholars at Yale University came across a...
Ruth Bernard Yeazell
October 2015
A picture’s title is often our first guide to understanding the image. Yet paintings didn’t always have titles, and many canvases acquired their names from curators, dealers, and printmakers—not the artists. Taking an original, historical look at how Western paintings were named, Picture Titles...
Bob Woodward
October 2015
A new work of narrative nonfiction from bestselling author Bob Woodward.  - See interview with Bob Woodward in The Washington Post - See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.com/The-Last-of-the-Presidents-Men/Bob-Woodward/9781501116445#sthash.0xoHgtC8.dpuf
July 2015
These poems—intrepid, obsessive, and erotic—tell the story of a woman’s attempt to reconcile despair. Beginning near the end and then traveling back to a time before her disquiet, The End of the Alphabet is about living despite one’s alienation from the self. Claudia Rankine, whose first collection...
Alastair Minnis
July 2015
Did Adam and Eve need to eat in Eden in order to live? If so, did human beings urinate and defecate in paradise? And since people had no need for clothing, transportation, or food, what purpose did animals serve? Would carnivorous animals have preyed on other creatures? These were but a few of the...
June 2015
When we speak of clouds these days, it is as likely that we mean data clouds or network clouds as cumulus or stratus. In their sharing of the term, both kinds of clouds reveal an essential truth: that the natural world and the technological world are not so distinct. In The Marvelous Clouds, John...
Harold Bloom
May 2015
Hailed as “the indispensable critic” by The New York Review of Books, Harold Bloom—New York Times bestselling writer and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University—has for decades been sharing with readers and students his genius and passion for understanding literature and explaining why...
Elizabeth Alexander
April 2015
In THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, Elizabeth Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. Channeling her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid price, Alexander tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. As she reflects on the beauty of her married...
Danielle Chapman
April 2015
What does it mean to pray or praise in the twenty-first century? What does it mean to lament, to attend? In this volatile, visionary debut collection, Danielle Chapman seeks “to be known / in one’s own person as crocuses are known / by sun, conceiving green to breathe it / for ravishment by light...
Langdon Hammer
April 2015
Langdon Hammer has given us the first biography of the poet James Merrill (1926–95), whose life is surely one of the most fascinating in American literature. Merrill was born to high privilege and high expectations as the son of Charles Merrill, the charismatic cofounder of the brokerage firm...
March 2015
“One of the most disciplined and satisfying new American plays to reach Broadway in the past decade. A truly affecting play.” –Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal “Like Chekhov, Mr. Margulies is a specialist in rueful regrets and misty glimpses of roads not taken.” –Ben Brantley, New York Times “...
Caryl Phillips
March 2015
Caryl Phillips’s The Lost Child is a sweeping story of orphans and outcasts, haunted by the past and fighting to liberate themselves from it. At its center is Monica Johnson―cut off from her parents after falling in love with a foreigner―and her bitter struggle to raise her sons in the shadow...
Claude Rawson
March 2015
Jonathan Swift’s influence on the writings and politics of England and Ireland was reinforced by a combination of contradictory forces: an authoritarian attachment to tradition and rule, and a vivid responsiveness to the disorders of a modernity he resisted and yet helped to create. He was,...
Jacqueline Goldsby
February 2015
Known only as the “Ex-Colored Man,” the protagonist in Johnson’s novel is forced to choose between celebrating his African American heritage or “passing” as an average white man in a post-Reconstruction America that is rapidly changing. This Norton Critical Edition is based on the 1912 text. It is...
Steven Brill
January 2015
America’s Bitter Pill is Steven Brill’s much-anticipated, sweeping narrative of how the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was written, how it is being implemented, and, most important, how it is changing—and failing to change—the rampant abuses in the healthcare industry. Brill probed the depths...
Anthony Reed
November 2014
Standard literary criticism tends to either ignore or downplay the unorthodox tradition of black experimental writing that emerged in the wake of protests against colonization and Jim Crow–era segregation. Histories of African American literature likewise have a hard time accounting for the...
Bad Paper book cover
October 2014
The Federal Trade Commission receives more complaints about rogue debt collecting than about any activity besides identity theft. Dramatically and entertainingly, Bad Paper reveals why. It tells the story of Aaron Siegel, a former banking executive, and Brandon Wilson, a former armed robber, who...