Book cover of The Saddest Words: William Faulkner's Civil War by Michael Edward Gorra
Biography & Autobiography

The Saddest Words: William Faulkner’s Civil War

How do we read William Faulkner in the twenty-first century? asks Michael Gorra, in this reconsideration of Faulkner’s life and legacy.

William Faulkner, one of America’s most iconic writers, is an author who defies easy interpretation. Born in 1897 in Mississippi, Faulkner wrote such classic novels as Absolom, Absolom! and The Sound and The Fury, creating in Yoknapatawpha county one of the most memorable gallery of characters ever assembled in American literature. […Learn More]

Book cover of Festival Days by Jo Ann Beard
Biography & Autobiography

Festival Days

When “The Fourth State of Matter,” her now famous piece about a workplace massacre at the University of Iowa was published in The New Yorker, Jo Ann Beard immediately became one of the most influential writers in America, forging a path for a new generation of young authors willing to combine the dexterity of fiction with the rigors of memory and reportage, and in the process extending the range of possibility for the essay form. […Learn More]

Book cover for Square Haunting: Five Writers in London Between the Wars by Francesca Wade
Biography & Autobiography

Square Haunting: Five Writers in London Between the Wars

An engrossing group portrait of five women writers, including Virginia Woolf, who moved to London’s Mecklenburgh Square in search of new freedom in their lives and work.
In the early twentieth century, Mecklenburgh Square—a hidden architectural gem in the heart of London—was a radical address. On the outskirts of Bloomsbury known for the eponymous group who “lived in squares, painted in circles, and loved in triangles,” the square was home to students, struggling artists, and revolutionaries. […Learn More]

Book cover for The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham
Europe

The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses

James Joyce’s big blue book, Ulysses, ushered in the modernist era and changed the novel for all time. But the genius of Ulysses was also its danger: it omitted absolutely nothing. Joyce, along with some of the most important publishers and writers of his era, had to fight for years to win the freedom to publish it. The Most Dangerous Book tells the remarkable story surrounding Ulysses, from the first stirrings of Joyce’s inspiration in 1904 to the book’s landmark federal obscenity trial in 1933. […Learn More]