Faculty Bookshelf

English Faculty Publications, Listed by Publication Date

June 2008
In this wide-ranging collection of stories, Derek Green takes readers on a tour of the world as America’s military-industrial complex reels into a new century. Written with grace, masterful precision and brutal honesty, New World Order shows us characters stripped of the familiar and forced to face...
Elizabeth Alexander
June 2008
Poetry. “When Alexander and Stefanon scrutinize the variegated surfaces of Romare Bearden’s art, the intensity of their gazes gives way to speech. In the blues of ‘Reclining Nude,’ Stefanon’s speaker discovers ‘I could hear / her holding / her breath.’ Alexander finds images that...
Anne Fadiman
May 2008
In At Large and At Small, Anne Fadiman returns to one of her favorite genres, the familiar essay–a beloved and hallowed literary tradition recognized for both its intellectual breadth and its miniaturist focus on everyday experiences. With the combination of humor and erudition that has...
January 2008
Poetry. In LET’S NOT CALL IT CONSEQUENCE, Richard Deming’s first full-length collection of poems, the poet brings together abstraction and precise images to explore the intensities and reversals of lyric thinking, that “infinitely stuttering thing.” These poems searchingly engage the...
January 2008
In Listening on All Sides, Richard Deming finds an intersection of literature and philosophy in the poetics of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Nathanial Hawthorne, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams that offers aesthetic models for the construction of community. Building on the work...
Edward Ball
November 2007
The Genetic Strand is the story of a writer’s investigation, using DNA science, into the tale of his family’s origins. Edward Ball turns his gaze on the microcosm of the human genome, and not just any human genome—that of his slave-holding ancestors. In 2000, Ball bought a house in Charleston,...
Alastair Minnis
November 2007
Can an outrageously immoral man or a scandalous woman teach morality or lead people to virtue? Does personal fallibility devalue one’s words and deeds? Is it possible to separate the private from the public, to segregate individual failing from official function? Chaucer addressed these...
Ruth Bernard Yeazell
November 2007
In this beautifully illustrated and elegantly written book, Ruth Yeazell explores the nineteenth century’s fascination with Dutch painting, as well as its doubts about an art that had long challenged traditional values. After showing how persistent tensions between high theory and low...
David Bromwich, Editor
October 2007
Like a Copland symphony or a de Kooning nude, an American sonnet marries European artistic tradition to New World innovation and imagination. Here, in this unique Library of America anthology, critic David Bromwich presents 161 sonnets and sonnet sequences by 56 of our most accomplished poets,...
Jessica Brantley
October 2007
Just as twenty-first-century technologies like blogs and wikis have transformed the once private act of reading into a public enterprise, devotional reading experiences in the Middle Ages were dependent upon an oscillation between the solitary and the communal. In Reading in the Wilderness,...
Caryl Phillips
October 2007
A powerful and affecting new book from Caryl Phillips: a brilliant hybrid of reportage, fiction, and historical fact that tells the stories of three black men whose lives speak resoundingly to the place and role of the foreigner in English society. Francis Barber, “given” to the great...
May 2007
Did Ireland produce a more radical and ambitious literature in the straitened circumstances of the first half of the twentieth century than it has managed to do since it began to modernize and become more affluent from the 1960s onwards? Has Irish modernism ceded place to a prevailing naturalism...
John Crowley
May 2007
This is the fourth novel—and much-anticipated conclusion—of John Crowley’s astonishing and lauded Ægypt sequence: a dense, lyrical meditation on history, alchemy, and memory. Spanning three centuries, and weaving together the stories of Renaissance magician John Dee, philosopher Giordano Bruno, and...
It
Joseph Roach
April 2007
That mysterious characteristic “It”—”the easily perceived but hard-to-define quality possessed by abnormally interesting people”—is the subject of Joseph Roach’s engrossing new book. As he did in the prizewinning Cities of the Dead, Roach crisscrosses centuries and continents with a deep...
April 2007
In a globalizing age, studying American literature in isolation from the rest of the world seems less and less justified. But is the conceptual box of the nation dispensable? And what would American literature look like without it?Leading scholars take up this debate in Shades of the Planet,...
April 2007
“Impressive. A box full of surprises and intense delights.”―Billy Collins The insomniac speakers in Halflife are coming of age in a mythical world full of threat and promise. Seeking their true selves amid the fallen cathedrals of America, they speak wryly of destructive love affairs, aesthetic...
April 2007
From the bestselling author of The Hours and Specimen Days comes a generous, masterfully crafted novel with all the power of a Greek tragedy. The epic tale of an American family, Flesh and Blood follows three generations of the Stassos clan as it is transformed by ambition, love, and history....
Claude Rawson
March 2007
Now best known for three great novels - Tom Jones, Joseph Andrews and Amelia - Henry Fielding (1707–54) was one of the most controversial figures of his time. Prominent first as a playwright, then as a novelist and political journalist, and finally as a justice of peace, Fielding made a substantial...
Louise Glück
February 2007
Averno is a small crater lake in southern Italy, regarded by the ancient Romans as the entrance to the underworld. That place gives its name to Louise Glück’s tenth collection: in a landscape turned irretrievably to winter, it is a gate or passageway that invites traffic between worlds while at...
January 2007
Few writers have attempted to explore the natural history of a particular animal by adopting the animal’s own sensibility. But Verlyn Klinkenborg has done just that in Timothy: an insightful and utterly engaging story of the world’s most famous tortoise, whose real life was observed by the...
Peter Cole
January 2007
Hebrew culture experienced a renewal in medieval Spain that produced what is arguably the most powerful body of Jewish poetry written since the Bible. Fusing elements of East and West, Arabic and Hebrew, and the particular and the universal, this verse embodies an extraordinary sensuality and...
Fame Junkies book cover
December 2006
In this groundbreaking book, Jake Halpern embarks on a quest to explore the facinating and often dark implications of America’s obsession with fame. Traveling across the country, he visits a Hollywood home for aspiring child actors and enrolls in a training program for would-be celebrity...
December 2006
We think of the nineteenth century as an active age–the age of colonial expansion, revolutions, and railroads, of great exploration and the Great Exhibition. But in reading the works of Romantic and Victorian writers one notices a conflict, what Stefanie Markovits terms “a crisis of action.”...
Stephanie Newell
November 2006
Between 1905 and 1939 a conspicuously tall white man with a shock of red hair, dressed in a silk shirt and white linen trousers, could be seen on the streets of Onitsha, in Eastern Nigeria. How was it possible for an unconventional, boy-loving Englishman to gain a social status among the local...
Caryl Phillips
October 2006
In this searing novel, Caryl Phillips reimagines the life of the first black entertainer in the U.S. to reach the highest levels of fame and fortune.After years of struggling for success on the stage, Bert Williams (1874—1922), the child of recent immigrants from the Bahamas, made the radical...
Edited by Anne Fadiman
September 2006
Is a book the same book–or a reader the same reader–the second time around? The seventeen authors in this witty and poignant collection of essays all agree on the answer: Never. The editor of Rereadings is Anne Fadiman, and readers of her bestselling book Ex Libris will find this volume...
September 2006
“Insurgents and terrorists retain the resources and capabilities to sustain and even increase current level of violence through the next year.” This was the secret Pentagon assessment sent to the White House in May 2006. The forecast of a more violent 2007 in Iraq contradicted the repeated...
George Packer
September 2006
Named one of the Best Books of 2005 by The New York Times, The Washington Post Book World, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The New York Times Book Review, USA Today, Time, and New York magazine. The Assassins’ Gate:...
Langdon Hammer
September 2006
No American poet has so swiftly and decisively transformed the course of poetry as Hart Crane. In his haunted, brief life, Crane fashioned a distinctively modern idiom that fused the ornate rhetoric of the Elizabethans, the ecstatic enigmas of Rimbaud, and the prophetic utterances and cosmic...
Stephanie Newell
August 2006
West African Literatures provides students with fresh, in-depth perspectives on the key debates in the field. The aim of this book is not to provide an authoritative, encyclopedic account, but to consider a selection of the region’s literatures in relation to prevailing discussions about...
August 2006
This incisive study takes on one of the grimmest secrets in America’s national life—the history of lynching and, more generally, the public punishment of African Americans. Jacqueline Goldsby shows that lynching cannot be explained away as a phenomenon peculiar to the South or as the perverse...
John Crowley
July 2006
One of our most accomplished literary artists, John Crowley imagines the novel the haunted Romantic poet Lord Byron never penned …but very well might have. Saved from destruction, read, and annotated by Byron’s own abandoned daughter, Ada, the manuscript is rediscovered in our time...
July 2006
Vigilant Memory focuses on the particular role of Emmanuel Levinas’s thought in reasserting the ethical parameters for poststructuralist criticism in the aftermath of the Holocaust. More than simply situating Levinas’s ethics within the larger context of his philosophy, R. Clifton...
May 2006
Literature of the city and the city in literature are topics of major contemporary interest. This volume enhances our understanding of Chaucer’s iconic role as a London poet, defining the modern sense of London as a city in history, steeped in its medieval past. Building on recent work by...
April 2006
In each section of Michael Cunningham’s bold new novel, his first since The Hours, we encounter the same group of characters: a young boy, an older man, and a young woman. “In the Machine” is a ghost story that takes place at the height of the industrial revolution, as human beings confront...
August 2005
An investigation of how the idea of a public as a central fiction of modern life informs our literature, politics, and culture. Most of the people around us belong to our world not directly, as kin or comrades, but as strangers. How do we recognize them as members of our world? We are related to...
August 2005
In this fascinating book, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea: Large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future. With...
June 2005
A striking look at the Jewish rite-and at American Jews in all their diversity Since its emergence here a century ago, the bar or bat mitzvah has become a distinctively American rite of passage, so much so that, in certain suburbs today, gentile families throw parties for their thirteen-year-olds,...
May 2005
A stunning work of narrative nonfiction that asks: what is natural? Now as never before, exotic animals and plants are crossing the globe, borne on the swelling tide of human traffic to places where nature never intended them to be. Bird-eating snakes from Australia hitchhike to Hawaii in the...
May 2005
The external lives of Clark, a high school guidance counselor, and Charlotte, a bookkeeper, are utterly ordinary, but their interior lives are as bold and complex as abstract paintings colored by imagined possibilities, childhood joys and, more darkly, by deeply buried fears. When Clark rescues a...
April 2005
Courting the Abyss updates the philosophy of free expression for a world that is very different from the one in which it originated. The notion that a free society should allow Klansmen, neo-Nazis, sundry extremists, and pornographers to spread their doctrines as freely as everyone else has come...
Marc Robinson
April 2005
The Other American Drama proposes an alternative to the received history of American drama, the Eugene O’Neil/Arthur Miller/August Wilson line of development so familiar to readers of standard drama surveys. Robinson’s book discusses Gertrude Stein, Maria Irene Fornes, Adrienne Kennedy and Richard...
April 2005
“A terrific production … American playwright Donald Margulies’ self-reflective, dream reverie comedy drama Brooklyn Boy is tough, insightful, bittersweet, funny and ultimately wise.”—The Hollywood Reporter “Those who know Margulies’ plays will find his familiar themes here: the inevitable...
Edward Ball
March 2005
Peninsula of Lies is nonfiction mystery, set in a haunting gothic locale and peopled by fascinating and eccentric characters. Its hero and heroine is Dawn Langley Simmons, a British writer who lived in Charleston, South Carolina, during the 1960s and became the center of one of the most unusual...
February 2005
This Companion provides an authoritative introduction to the historical, social and stylistic complexities of modern Irish culture. Readers will be introduced to Irish culture in its widest sense and helped to find their way through the cultural and theoretical debates that inform our understanding...
November 2004
The Ethics of Mourning dramatically shifts the critical discussion of the lyric elegy from psychological economy to ethical responsibility. Beginning from a reevaluation of famously inconsolable mourners such as Niobe and Hamlet, R. Clifton Spargo discerns the tendency of all grief to depend at...
October 2004
Plan of Attack is the definitive account of how and why President George W. Bush, his war council, and allies launched a preemptive attack to topple Saddam Hussein and occupy Iraq. Bob Woodward’s latest landmark account of Washington decision making provides an original, authoritative...
Susan Choi
September 2004
In 1955, a new student arrives at a small college in the Tennessee mountains. Chuck is shy, speaks English haltingly, and on the subject of his earlier life in Korea will not speak at all. Then he meets Katherine, a solitary young woman haunted by an episode in her past. Without knowing why, these...
Susan Choi
September 2004
On the lam for an act of violence against the American government, 25-year-old Jenny Shimada agrees to care for three younger fugitives whom a shadowy figure from her former radical life has spirited out of California. One of them, the kidnapped granddaughter of a wealthy newspaper magnate in San...
September 2004
In this powerful sequence of TV images and essay, Claudia Rankine explores the personal and political unrest of our volatile new century I forget things too. It makes me sad. Or it makes me the saddest. The sadness is not really about George W. or our American optimism; the sadness lives in the...