Faculty Bookshelf

English Faculty Publications

Listed by Publication Date

Katie Trumpener
January 2009
While poetry has been the genre most closely associated with the Romantic period, the novel of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries has attracted many more readers and students in recent years. Its canon has been widened to include less well known authors alongside Jane Austen, Walter...
Susan Choi
January 2009
Professor Lee, an Asian-born mathematician nearing retirement age, would seem the last person likely to attract the attention of FBI agents.  Yet after a popular young colleague becomes the latest victim of a serial bomber, Lee’s detached response and maladroit behavior lead the FBI, the national...
Elizabeth Alexander
January 2009
Praise Song for the Day was commissioned for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. These inspiring words by award-winning poet Elizabeth Alexander celebrate all that has made America what it is today and challenge us—as individuals, as communities, as a nation—to continue working toward the...
Feisal Mohamed
December 2008
In the Anteroom of Divinity focuses on the persistence of Pseudo-Dionysian angelology in England’s early modern period. Beginning with a discussion of John Colet’s commentary on Dionysisus’ twin hierarchies, Feisal G. Mohamed explores the significance of the Dionysian tradition to the...
Wai Chee Dimock
November 2008
What we call American literature is quite often a shorthand, a simplified name for an extended tangle of relations.” This is the argument of Through Other Continents, Wai Chee Dimock’s sustained effort to read American literature as a subset of world literature. Inspired by an unorthodox...
Annabel Patterson
October 2008
Charles II’s first and most important parliament sat for eighteen years without a general election, earning itself the sobriquet “Long.” In 1661 this parliament began in eager compliance with the new king. Gradually disillusioned by Charles’s maneuvers, however, its members came to demand more...
Alexander Welsh
July 2008
What is honor? Has its meaning changed since ancient times? Is it an outmoded notion? Does it still have the power to direct our behavior? In this provocative book Alexander Welsh considers the history and meaning of honor and dismisses the idea that we live in a post-honor culture. He notes...
Jonathan Kramnick
June 2008
Jonathan Brody Kramnick’s book examines the formation of the English canon over the first two-thirds of the eighteenth century. Kramnick details how the idea of literary tradition emerged out of a prolonged engagement with the institutions of cultural modernity, from the public sphere and...
Derek Green
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...
Paul Fry
June 2008
In this original book, distinguished literary scholar and critic Paul H. Fry sharply revises accepted views of Wordsworth’s motives and messages as a poet. Where others have oriented Wordsworth toward ideas of transcendence, nature worship, or—more recently—political repression, Fry redirects...
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...
Richard Deming
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...
Richard Deming
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...
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...
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,...
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...
Joseph Cleary
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...
Meghan O'Rourke
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...
Michael Cunningham
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....
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...
Wai Chee Dimock
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,...
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...
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...
Verlyn Klinkenborg
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...
Stefanie Markovits
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.”...
Fame Junkies book cover
Jake Halpern
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...
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...
Anne Fadiman, Editor
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...
Bob Woodward
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...
Jacqueline Goldsby
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...
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...
R. Clifton Spargo
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...
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...
Ardis Butterfield
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...
Michael Cunningham
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...
James Surowiecki
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...
Michael Warner
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...
Mark Oppenheimer
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,...
Amity Gaige
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...
Alan Burdick
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...
John Durham Peters
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...