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Literary and Cultural Studies


The Life of William Faulkner
This Alarming Paradox, 1935–1962 Carl Rollyson

By the end of volume 1 of The Life of William Faulkner ("A filling, satisfying feast for Faulkner aficianados"— Kirkus), the young Faulkner had gone from an unpromising, self-mythologizing bohemian to the author of some of the most innovative and enduring literature of the century, including The... More


Nervous Fictions
Literary Form and the Enlightenment Origins of Neuroscience Jess Keiser

"The brain contains ten thousand cells," wrote the poet Matthew Prior in 1718, "in each some active fancy dwells." In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, just as scientists began to better understand the workings of the nerves, the nervous system became the site for a series of elaborate... More


Three Rings
A Tale of Exile, Narrative, and Fate Daniel Mendelsohn

In this genre-defying book, best-selling memoirist and critic Daniel Mendelsohn explores the mysterious links between the randomness of the lives we lead and the artfulness of the stories we tell.Combining memoir, biography, history, and literary criticism, Three Rings weaves together the stories... More


1930
The First Automobile Trip in North America, from Manhattan to Managua Arthur Lyon. Edited by Larry Lyon, with annotations by Denis Wood and an afterword by Sally Denton

Imagine setting out on a road trip in a 1929 Ford Model A Roadster, with the stated goal of traveling from Manhattan to Mexico and Central America, after only a week’s worth of preparation. This is exactly what brothers Arthur Lyon and Joe Lyon Jr. did on March 23, 1930. The Lyons acquired some... More


Eden's Endemics
Narratives of Biodiversity on Earth and Beyond Elizabeth Callaway

In the past thirty years biodiversity has become one of the central organizing principles through which we understand the nonhuman environment. Its deceptively simple definition as the variation among living organisms masks its status as a hotly contested term both within the sciences and more... More


Victorians on Broadway
Literature, Adaptation, and the Modern American Musical Sharon Aronofsky Weltman

Broadway productions of musicals such as The King and I, Oliver!, Sweeney Todd, and Jekyll and Hyde became huge theatrical hits. Remarkably, all were based on one-hundred-year-old British novels or memoirs. What could possibly explain their enormous success? Victorians on Broadway is a wide-ranging... More


Empire of Diamonds
Victorian Gems in Imperial Settings Adrienne Munich

In 1850, the legendary Koh-i-noor diamond, gem of Eastern potentates, was transferred from the Punjab in India and, in an elaborate ceremony, placed into Queen Victoria’s outstretched hands. This act inaugurated what author Adrienne Munich recognizes in her engaging new book as the empire of... More


Cultural Entanglements
Langston Hughes and the Rise of African and Caribbean Literature Shane Graham

In addition to being a poet, fiction writer, playwright, and essayist, Langston Hughes was also a globe-trotting cosmopolitan, travel writer, translator, avid international networker, and—perhaps above all—pan-Africanist. In Cultural Entanglements, Shane Graham examines Hughes’s associations with a... More


Reading through the Night
Jane Tompkins

Jane Tompkins, a renowned literature professor and award-winning author, thought she knew what reading was until, struck by a debilitating illness, she finds herself reading day and night because it is all she can do. A lifelong lover of books, she realizes for the first time that if you pay close... More


The Shortest Way with Defoe
Robinson Crusoe, Deism, and the Novel Michael B. Prince

A scholarly and imaginative reconstruction of the voyage Daniel Defoe took from the pillory to literary immortality, The Shortest Way with Defoe contends that Robinson Crusoe contains a secret satire, written against one person, that has gone undetected for 300 years. By locating Defoe's nemesis... More


Afro-Creole Poetry in French from Louisiana's Radical Civil War-Era Newspapers
A Bilingual Edition Edited by Clint Bruce

Collected here for the first time, seventy-nine poems published in the Civil War–era Afro-Creole New Orleans newspapers L’Union and La Tribune—most unavailable anywhere but in archives—bring to life a close-knit, politically progressive French-speaking community of artists and intellectuals whose... More


Love and Depth in the American Novel
From Stowe to James Ashley C. Barnes

Love and Depth in the American Novel seeks to change how we think about the American love story and how we imagine the love of literature. By examining classics of nineteenth-century American literature, Ashley Barnes offers a new approach to literary theory that encompasses both New Historicism... More


Falling Short
The Bildungsroman and the Crisis of Self-Fashioning Aleksandar Stević

A paradox haunts the bildungsroman: few protagonists successfully complete the process of maturation and socialization that ostensibly defines the form. From the despondent endings of Dickens’s Great Expectations and Meredith’s The Ordeal of Richard Feverel to the suicide of Balzac’s Lucien de... More


Bad Men
Creative Touchstones of Black Writers Howard Rambsy II

How have African American writers drawn on "bad" black men and black boys as creative touchstones for their evocative and vibrant art? This is the question posed by Howard Rambsy’s new book, which explores bad men as a central, recurring, and understudied figure in African American literature and... More


After Print
Eighteenth-Century Manuscript Cultures Edited by Rachael Scarborough King

The eighteenth century has generally been understood as the Age of Print, when the new medium revolutionized the literary world and rendered manuscript culture obsolete. After Print, however, reveals that the story isn’t so simple. Manuscript remained a vital, effective, and even preferred forum... More


Neoliberal Nonfictions
The Documentary Aesthetic from Joan Didion to Jay-Z Daniel Worden

With the ascendancy of neoliberalism in American culture beginning in the 1960s, the political structures governing private lives became more opaque and obscure. Neoliberal Nonfictions argues that a new style of documentary art emerged to articulate the fissures between individual experience and... More


The Sketch, the Tale, and the Beginnings of American Literature
Lydia G. Fash

Accounts of the rise of American literature often start in the 1850s with a cluster of "great American novels"—Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Melville’s Moby-Dick and Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. But these great works did not spring fully formed from the heads of their creators. All three relied on... More


The Life of William Faulkner
The Past Is Never Dead, 1897-1934 Carl Rollyson

William Faulkner emerged from the ravaged South—half backwoods, half defeated empire—transforming his corner of Mississippi into the fictional Yoknapatawpha County and bestowing on the world some of the most revolutionary and enduring literature of the twentieth century. The personal story behind... More


Dandyism
Forming Fiction from Modernism to the Present Len Gutkin

The "dandy," a nineteenth-century character and concept exemplified in such works as Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, reverberates in surprising corners of twentieth- and twenty-first-century culture. Establishing this character as a kind of shorthand for a diverse range of traits and tendencies... More


Letters from Filadelfia
Early Latino Literature and the Trans-American Elite Rodrigo Lazo

For many Spanish Americans in the early nineteenth century, Philadelphia was Filadelfia, a symbol of republican government for the Americas and the most important Spanish-language print center in the early United States. In Letters from Filadelfia, Rodrigo Lazo opens a window into Spanish-language... More


Colonizing the Past
Mythmaking and Pre-Columbian Whites in Nineteenth-Century American Writing Edward Watts

After the Revolution, Americans realized they lacked the common, deep, or meaningful history that might bind together their loose confederation of former colonies into a genuine nation. They had been conquerors yet colonials, now politically independent yet culturally subordinate to European... More


Best New Poets 2019
50 Poems from Emerging Writers Edited by Cate Marvin

Entering its fifteenth year, Best New Poets has established itself as a crucial venue for rising poets and a valuable resource for poetry lovers. The only publication of its kind, this annual anthology is made up exclusively of work by writers who have not yet published a full-length book. The... More


A Language of Things
Emanuel Swedenborg and the American Environmental Imagination Devin P. Zuber

Long overlooked, the natural philosophy and theosophy of the Scandinavian scientist-turned-mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) made a surprising impact in America. Thomas Jefferson, while president, was so impressed with the message of a Baltimore Swedenborgian minister that he invited him to... More


Erotic Citizens
Sex and the Embodied Subject in the Antebellum Novel Elizabeth Dill

What is the role of sex in the age of democratic beginnings? Despite the sober republican ideals of the Enlightenment, the literature of America’s early years speaks of unruly, carnal longings. Elizabeth Dill argues that the era’s proliferation of texts about extramarital erotic intimacy manifests... More


Sight Correction
Vision and Blindness in Eighteenth-Century Britain Chris Mounsey

The debut publication in a new series devoted to the body as an object of historical study,  Sight Correction provides an expansive analysis of blindness in eighteenth-century Britain, developing a new methodology for conceptualizing sight impairment. Beginning with a reconsideration of the place... More


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