Standing Orders

The entire Critical Insights series is available from Salem Press as a standing order. Standing orders enjoy a full 20% discount.

For information on this opportunity, please call (800) 221-1592.

Below you will find a description of the entire series:

Literary Bundles

You can custom select your own collection of Critical Insights titles that are specific to your needs. Click here to see our pre-selected bundles for ideas.

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The text is written at a level appropriate for high school and undergraduate-level students, precisely the age that would be reading these titles and authors' works and needing resources to write critical papers for class. These resources will be useful for high school and undergraduate library collections. Online access is available with purchase of the print volume, which will be a huge benefit for classroom use since many students will be able to access the same information at one time.
Free Online Access

Unlimited Users & Remote Access Included

Instant Online Activation When You Order

All of the Critical Insights titles are available online, at no cost to owners of the print reference, through Salem Online. Purchasing one or more of these works entitles a school or library to free access to Salem Online, including all the content of each purchased set. For more info, just click Salem Online. For info call (800) 221-1592.

Critical Insights

Salem's Critical Insights series distills the best of both classic and current literary criticism of the world's most-studied literature. The series focuses on an individual author's entire body of work, a single work of literature, or a literary theme. Edited and written by some of academe's most distinguished literary scholars, Critical Insights provide authoritative, in-depth scholarship suitable for students and teachers alike.


Unlike multi-volume literary reference, Critical Insights allows libraries to tailor their support to the precise curriculum they serve. Specific works, individual authors and literary themes can be selected from our growing list of titles. Your library can respond to the exact needs of teachers and their classrooms.

Often, when reference is needed in support of specific assignments, dozens of students need the same resource. But, with Critical Insights, your library has unlimited, simultaneous literary reference available online. This online access is a complimentary element in the product Salem provides. Salem Literature is easy to use and is available in the library or remotely, from home or dorm room.

Critical Insights single volumes are ideal for "circulating reference." In combination with our online access to the full content, the series brings the most flexible access to information available anywhere.

Those Critical Insights that focus on an author's entire oeuvre include novelists, dramatists, short-story writers and essayists. Those focused on a specific title include the most popular and routinely studied classroom works. This superior series offers the most up-to-date collection of scholarly thinking about authors and individual works from all standard critical perspectives - social, gender, postmodern, psychological, and cultural, as well as more traditional historical and close readings. Students come away with an enriched sense of the many ways the work can be approached.

Every volume contains an editor's introduction to the author or work and a biography of the author. Following these ready-reference chapters is a section, "Critical Contexts," that presents four original essays by current scholars:

The "critical lens" chapter offers a close reading of the author or work from a particular critical standpoint, such as feminism, narratology, or New Criticism.
A chapter on "cultural and historical context" addresses how the time period influenced the author or work, as well as what makes the author or work relevant to a contemporary audience.
A compare/contrast chapter analyzes the work or author in the light of another work or author.
The "critical reception" chapter reviews the major concerns that critics of the author or work have attended to over the years.

The "Critical Readings" section follows, presenting half a dozen or more seminal essays, chosen by the volume's editor and written by renowned scholars from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These chapters round out the perspectives offered by the original material in the first section - offering full coverage of all the key issues and interpretations.

Each essay is 5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of MLA-style "Works Cited," along with endnotes. Finally, the volume's appendixes offer a section of useful reference resources:

a chronology of the author's life
a complete list of the author's works and their original dates of publication
a general bibliography
a detailed paragraph on the volume's editor
notes on the individual chapter authors
a subject index

Critical Insights - the "Bloom" series for the twenty-first century - is well on its way to becoming the premier starting point for literary studies-whether by the undergraduate undergoing a literature survey course or the graduate student seeking the "best of the best" between two covers.

The purchase of any Critical Insights title provides a school or library to complimentary access to Salem Literature, our online literary database, including all the content in each volume purchased.

For more information on the database, click Salem Literature.