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Annotated Book Lists Teen Reader
The Best from the Experts at YALSA-BK
American Library Association
American Library Association, 2011

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Desire and Truth
Functions of Plot in Eighteenth-Century English Novels
Patricia Meyer Spacks
University of Chicago Press, 1990
Desire and Truth offers a major reassessment of the history of eighteenth-century fiction by showing how plot challenges or reinforces conventional categories of passion and rationality. Arguing that fiction creates and conveys its essential truths through plot, Patricia Meyer Spacks demonstrates that eighteenth-century fiction is both profoundly realistic and consistently daring.

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Edward Albee
Toby Zinman
University of Michigan Press, 2008
A theater lover’s guide to the dramatic works of one of America’s most important living playwrights

Edward Albee was a giant in American theater, in the same pantheon with Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill, and Tennessee Williams. His prolific career included three Pulitzer Prizes and the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Tony Award.

Albee continued producing major works for the theater into his eighties, including a prequel to The Zoo Story, which shocked the country when it first appeared in 1958—and his plays have seen major revivals on and off Broadway in recent years. Yet even with this resurgence of popularity, no up-to-date treatment of his plays is currently in print.

With engaging discussions of his most famous plays, such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Three Tall Women, as well as his lesser known works, this essential guide reveals the heart of Albee’s drama, highlighting the themes of sex, death, loneliness, and time that have occupied the playwright during his more than fifty years in the theater.

Toby Zinman is the theater critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer. She has written for numerous publications, including Variety,American Theater, and Theatre Journal. She is Professor of English at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia.


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Experiencing America's Story through Fiction
Historical Novels for Grades 7-12
Hilary Susan Crew
American Library Association, 2014

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Faulkner the Storyteller
Blair Labatt
University of Alabama Press, 2006

A study exploring the role of event and plot in William Faulkner’s fiction.

Faulkner the Storyteller addresses the role of event and plot in Faulkner's fiction and the creation of an implied teller behind the tale. Novels like The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom! are often thought of as canonical modernist texts antagonistic to traditional notions of plot and storytelling. Blair Labatt, however, argues that Faulkner's fiction, regardless of its modernist gestures, is filled and driven by sophisticated manifestations of plot—willed challenges, structural targets, gambits, designs, engagements, and battles—a language of competition and conflict and a syntax of events.

Labatt examines Faulkner's short stories, such as "Mountain Victory," "That Evening Sun," and "Barn Burning," and the architecture of the Snopes Trilogy (The Hamlet, The Town, and The Mansion), and finds that Faulkner's deployment of cause and effect is central to his narratives. Labatt also explores how Faulkner's use of plot creates an implied voice that lends a humorous element to his story's twists and turns that often brackets and encloses the pathos of his characters.


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The Novel as Event
Mario Ortiz Robles
University of Michigan Press, 2010

"The Novel as Event brilliantly does two things: presents a strikingly new theory of the way novels have effect in the social world, and also presents original readings of five major Victorian novels as demonstrations of the way that theory may be exemplified in practice. No other book that I know of does either of these two things in at all the same way."
---J. Hillis Miller, University of California, Irvine

"I have no doubt that this book will become an important part of a renewed questioning of a certain unchallenged historicism prevalent in Victorian novel studies from the beginning."
---Kevin McLaughlin, Brown University

The Novel as Event is a timely reconsideration of the historical role of the Victorian novel from the perspective of its performativity. In a highly original application of the work of Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, and other readers of J. L. Austin, Mario Ortiz Robles argues that the language of the novel is paramount and that the current emphasis on the representational and physical aspects of the novel tends to obscure this fact. He provides brilliant original readings of five major Victorian novels: Dickens's Our Mutual Friend, Brontë's Jane Eyre, George Eliot's Middlemarch, Thackeray's Vanity Fair, and Collins's The Woman in White, illustrating that it is impossible to fully grasp the cultural power of the novel, from its role in the cultivation of manners and the conduct of courtship to the consolidation of bourgeois ideology and the construction of the subject, without an adequate account of the performativity of its language. By considering the novel as a linguistic event, Ortiz Robles offers a new explanatory model for understanding how novels intervene materially in the reality they describe, and, in doing so, he seeks to reinvigorate critical debate on the historicity of the realist novel and current methods of cultural criticism. The Novel as Event serves as a well-timed corrective to the narrow historicist approach to the materiality of the novel that currently holds sway.

Mario Ortiz Robles is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Cover art: "Untitled page from Constance Sackville West Album." Courtesy of George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film.


front cover of A Reader's Guide to the Novels of Louise Erdrich
A Reader's Guide to the Novels of Louise Erdrich
Peter G. Beidler & Gay Barton
University of Missouri Press, 2006
This revised and expanded edition of Beidler and Barton’s indispensable A Reader’s Guide to the Novels of Louise Erdrich builds on the sellout success of the first edition. Every serious reader of Erdrich’s fiction will want access to this comprehensive new edition, which includes valuable new material.
• Completely updated with information on four new novels published since the first edition: The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, The Master Butchers Singing Club, Four Souls, and The Painted Drum
Easy-to-use genealogical charts for the various families
• A map and geographical details about the settings for the novels
• A detailed composite dictionary of characters (even including the minor characters)
• A glossary of all of the Ojibwe words, phrases, and sentences that Erdrich, an astoundingly versatile and energetic Native American author, uses in her panoply of novels

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Romance Reader's Advisory
The Librarian's Guide to Love in the Stacks
American Library Association
American Library Association, 2000

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The Ohio State University Press, 2001

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