Honor roll: Criticism books

Each of these Criticism books has received at least one award nomination. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:Federico Garcia Lorca: A Life

Federico Garcia Lorca: A Life

Ian Gibson

Known primarily as a poet and dramatist, Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca published four books before his early death in the Spanish Civil War. This biography gives an account of his family, his homosexuality and his mysterious death, as well as tracing his literary development.

Book:Not By Fact Alone

Not By Fact Alone: Essays on the Writing and Reading of History

John Clive

Book:Silk Stalkings: When Women Write of Murder

Silk Stalkings: When Women Write of Murder

Victoria Nichols, Susan Thompson

Book:Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe

Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe

David Herbert Donald

Thomas Wolfe, one of the giants of twentieth-century American fiction, is also one of the most misunderstood of our major novelists. A man massive in his size, his passions, and his gifts, Wolfe has long been considered something of an unconscious genius, whose undisciplined flow of prose was shaped into novels by his editor, the celebrated Maxwell Perkins.

In this definitive and compelling biography, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Herbert Donald dismantles that myth and demonstrates that Wolfe was a boldly aware experimental artist who, like James Joyce, William Faulkner, and John Dos Passos, deliberately pushed at the boundaries of the modern novel. Donald takes a new measure of this complex, tormented man as he reveals Wolfe’s difficult childhood, when he was buffeted between an alcoholic father and a resentful mother; his “magical” years at the University of North Carolina, where his writing talent first flourished; his rise to literary fame after repeated rejection; and the full story of Wolfe’s passionate affair with Aline Bernstein, including their intimate letters.

Book:Works and Lives

Works and Lives: The Anthropologist As Author

Clifford Geertz

“America’s most renowned cultural anthropologist…analyzes the literary forms of several anthropologist notables.”—Richard A. Scweder, The New York Times Book Review

Book:Dance Writings

Dance Writings

Edwin Denby, Robert Cornfield

Edwin Denby, who died in 1983, was the most important and influential American dance critic of this century. His reviews and essays, which he wrote for almost thirty years, were possessed of a voice, vision, and passion as compelling and inspiring as his subject. He was also a poet of distinction—a friend to Frank O’Hara, James Schuyler, and John Ashbery.

This book presents a sampling of his reviews, essays, and poems, an exemplary collection that exhibits the elegance, lucidity, and timelessness of Denby’s writings. The volume includes Denby’s reactions to choreography ranging from Martha Graham to George Balanchine to the Rockettes, as well as his reflections on such general topics as dance in film, dance criticism, and meaning in dance. Denby’s writings are presented chronologically, and they not only provide a picture of how his dance theories and reviewing methods evolved but also give an informal history of dance in New York from the late 1930s to the early 1960s. The book—the only collection of Denby’s writings currently in print—is an essential resource for students and lover of dance.



Kenneth S. Lynn

Ernest Hemingway was a mythic figure of overt masculinity and vibrant literary genius. He lived life on an epic scale, presenting to the world a character as compelling as the fiction he created. But behind it all lurked an insecure, troubled man. In this immensely powerful and revealing study, Kenneth S. Lynn explores the many tragic facets that both nurtured Hemingway’s work and eroded his life.

Masterfully written, Hemingway brings to life the writer whose desperate struggle to exorcise his demons produced some of the greatest American fiction of this century.

Book:Less Than One

Less Than One: Selected Essays

Joseph Brodsky

This collection of essays thrusts Brodsky—heretofore known more for his poetry and translations—into the forefront of the “Third Wave” of Russian emigre writers. His insights into the works of Dostoyevsky, Mandelstam, Platonov, as well as non-Russian poets Auden, Cavafy and Montale are brilliant. While the Western popularity of many other Third Wavers has been stunted by their inability to write in English, Brodsky consumed the language to attain a “closer proximity” to poets such as Auden. The book, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, opens and closes with revealing autobiographical essay.

Book:Habitations of the Word

Habitations of the Word: Essays

William H. Gass

Author William H. Gass analyzes as though under a microscope the many and varied ways writers carpenter structures with words to house language forms. “Using Freudian concepts, he compares the art of writing to the art of becoming civilized: writing parallels the transformation of raw instinct into shared expression.…Gass writes with impassioned concern”.—Publishers Weekly.

Book:Novel Verdicts

Novel Verdicts: A Guide to Courtroom Fiction

Jon L. Breen

This critical guide is especially noteworthy for its unique and comprehensive coverage of each individual work. Each annotation not only provides general information about the author but indicates the proportion of trial action included in each book. A critical bibliography for librarians, lawyers and courtroom enthusiasts alike, Novel Verdicts is a useful and easy-to-use reference tool that captures the changes in the law as depicted in courtroom fiction.

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