Critical Insights Series

The series focuses on an individual author's entire body of work, a single work of literature, a literary theme, or film.

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Critical Insights Authors

Critical Insights Authors focus on an author's entire oeuvre. These include novelists, dramatists, short-story writers and essayists. The list below links to extensive descriptions of each work.

 

 
Critical Insights:
EDITH WHARTON


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

This volume will examine a wide range of Wharton’s works, from her major novels The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, and The Age of Innocence to her war writings, Gothic fiction, and late works, such as The Children and The Glimpses of the Moon.

 
Critical Insights:
LEO TOLSTOY


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

This volume will consider various and lesser known works by Tolstoy in addition to Anna Karenina and War and Peace with attention to the fundamentals of Tolstoy’s biography, personal philosophy, and his sustained legacy in the Russian literary canon.

 
Critical Insights:
RAY BRADBURY


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

This title will explore the work of a towering figure in American Science Fiction. Essay topics include: Utopian/dystopian robotic technologies; Translocality in The Martian Chronicles; Faith and Reason in Fahrenheit 451.

 
Critical Insights:
NEIL GAIMAN


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

The essays in this volume trace the work of the author from the little-known comic, The Sandman, through The Graveyard Book and look at his novels for adults and children.

 
Critical Insights:
GEOFFREY CHAUCER


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

This volume includes essays that help explain why Chaucer is called "the father of English letters."

 
Critical Insights:
ISAAC ASIMOV


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

This volume contains a general introduction to Asimov's work and explores his towering status among American science fiction writers, with special emphasis on the Foundation trilogy and the Robot novels and stores.

 
Critical Insights:
JOSEPH CONRAD


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

Polish-British writer Joseph Conrad was known for his adventurous tales-many of them based on his experiences as a merchant marine-as well as his anti-heroic characters and exploration of human psychology in a European-dominated world. Essays in this volume profile Conrad's political beliefs, examine his narrative style, and analyze his most renowned stories, including Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim.

 
Critical Insights:
MARY SHELLEY


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

Best known as the author of the ubiquitous Gothic novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley lived an eventful, though grief-stricken life, between troubled finances, her father's disownment, and the death of multiple children. Topics discussed in this compilation include autobiographical elements and themes in her work, the influence of Frankenstein today, and her relationship with her husband, Romantic poet-philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley.

 
Critical Insights:
MAYA ANGELOU


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

As an author, poet, actor, singer, dancer, civil rights activist, and more, Maya Angelou lived a life worthy of seven autobiographies. From a troubled childhood in St. Louis to her work with Martin Luther King, Jr. to her vast oeuvre of poetry and prose, this volume profiles one of the most prolific African American voices of the 20th century, highlighting her most famous work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

 
Critical Insights:
HENRY JAMES


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

From the novels The Turn of the Screw and The Portrait of a Lady to his extensive literary criticism, Henry James is recognized today as one of the central novelists and proponents of 19th-century realism. Original essays in this volume analyze the importance of James’ work to his contemporaries, the influence of Nathaniel Hawthorne in his writing, and his failed theatrical career.

 
Critical Insights:
GEORGE ELIOT


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

Mary Ann Evans, also known as George Eliot, published under a male pen name during the Victorian Era to ensure her fiction was taken just as seriously as her male counterparts. This volume of critical essays compares Eliot to those male contemporaries, and studies some of her greatest works, including Silas Marner, Middlemarch, and The Mill on the Floss.

 
Critical Insights:
LOUISA MAY ALCOTT


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

A 19th century American novelist of the transcendentalist school, Louisa May Alcott is most renowned for Little Women, a coming-of-age children’s tale still popular with readers of all ages today. Essays in this volume take a closer look at Alcott, her beliefs, and her work in Little Women and its two sequels, Little Men and Jo’s Boys.

 
Critical Insights:
HORTON FOOTE


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

American playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote is most notably known for his 1962 adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird, the screenplay for the 1983 film, Tender Mercies, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1995 play, The Young Man from Atlanta. This volume examines these works and more, such as the nine-play Orphans' Home cycle, based on Foote's own childhood.

 
Critical Insights:
ROBERTO BOLAÑO


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

As author of such acclaimed works as Los Detectives Salvajes, 2666, Amuleto, and Una novelita lumpen, Bolaño led an unsettled, turbulent life full of revolution and provocation-tones that burst through in every word he wrote. This volume examines that life, as well as Bolaño's literary politics and influences.

 
Critical Insights:
GUSTAVE FLAUBERT


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

This volume examines Flaubert's quest for literary perfection, his extensive correspondence with such contemporaries as Ivan Turgenev and Guy de Maupassant, and his most famous work, Madame Bovary.

 
Critical Insights:
ROBERT A. HEINLEIN


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

Titles discussed in this volume include Heinlein's novels, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Stranger in a Strange Land, and Podkayne of Mars, as well as a variety of his short stories and early pulp magazine appearances.

 
Critical Insights:
DAVID FOSTER WALLACE


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

Essays from his most noted works, including his critically acclaimed novel, Infinite Jest, survey the various themes that appear in his work such as his exploration of philosophy, meta-fiction, satire, psychology, and the irony of postmodernism.

 
Critical Insights:
TIM O'BRIEN


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

This collection brings together a selection of recent representative critical essays on O’Brien from a variety of perspectives. After opening with several short introductory essays, the volume moves on to consider O’Brien’s semi-autobiographical coverage of his experience in Vietnam and discusses O’Brien’s most famous work, The Things They Carried.
 
Critical Insights:
MARIO VARGAS LLOSA


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

This volume, edited by Juan E De Castro, includes essays by some of the best-known Vargas Llosa scholars. The articles not only provide an introduction to the Nobel Prize winner’s novels and essays, they also trace his artistic and political evolution, and place his works in their historical and cultural context.
 
Critical Insights:
KURT VONNEGUT


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

Critical acclaim eluded Kurt Vonnegut until Slaughterhouse-Five was published in 1969. An immediate best seller, it earned for the author respect from critics who had previously dismissed him as a mediocre science-fiction writer. Through his insightful and sympathetic treatment of the psychologically and morally crippled victims of the modern world, Vonnegut earned a reputation as one of the greatest humanist writers of his time.
 
Critical Insights:
PHILIP ROTH


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

Philip Roth’s many honors testify to his importance. He won awards for many of his individual novels, including a Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 2005, he became the third living author to have his works included in the Library of America.
 
Critical Insights:
SYLVIA PLATH


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

Talented from the very beginning of her life, Sylvia Plath published her first poem at the age of eight in the "children’s section" of the Boston Herald. She said of her childhood: "I want to work at putting together the complex mosaic of my childhood; to practice capturing feelings and experiences from the nebulous seething of memory and yank them out into black-and-white on the typewriter."
 
Critical Insights:
JAMES JOYCE


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

From the beginning of his literary career, James Joyce was the most distinctive figure in the renaissance that occurred in Irish cultural life after the death of Charles Stewart Parnell. From the first, he set himself to liberate Ireland, not by returning to Celtic myths or the Gaelic language and folklore, but by Europeanizing its cultural institutions. He produced two of the undisputed masterworks of modern literature, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses, as well as a final work that is perhaps beyond criticism, Finnegans Wake.
 
Critical Insights:
ZORA NEALE HURSTON


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

Zora Neale Hurston is today recognized as a major contributor to the Harlem Renaissance literature of the 1920s and American modernist literature. Hurston’s most important works, published in the 1930s, emerge from her interest in African American oral and vernacular culture, represented in her most studied publications Mules and Men (1935) and Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937).
 
Critical Insights:
RAYMOND CARVER


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

Raymond Carver made the short story a viable literary form; since Carver, short-story collections became a marketable commodity in the book trade. Both as a model and as a teacher, he had such an influence on younger fiction writers that author Jay McInerney could truthfully say (alluding to a famous statement that Fyodor Dostoevski made about Nikolai Gogol) that there is hardly a single American short-story writer younger than Carver who did not "come out of Carver’s overcoat."
 
Critical Insights:
WILLIAM FAULKNER


One volume, 300 pages
List Price: $105

Since his Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949, Faulkner has achieved the status of a world author. Critics and scholars from all over the world have contributed to the commentary. Faulkner’s achievement has been compared favorably with the achievements of Henry James, Honoré de Balzac, and Charles Dickens; many critics regard him as the preeminent novelist of the twentieth century.
 
Critical Insights:
ALICE WALKER


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Alice Walker's works are more relevant today than ever. With war, climate change, economic crisis, failures in public education, racism, sexism, and homophobia still part of current events, Walker represents not only a creative writer but an activist engaged in the causes threaded throughout her writing. With her words Walker has created lyrical spaces in which disparate personalities and cultures join to make something new; where the past is a key to the future, and where women and men question themselves.
 
Critical Insights:
LANGSTON HUGHES


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Poet, playwright, and short story writer Langston Hughes remains perhaps one of the most well known African American writers of the twentieth century. With memorable lines like "Life for me ain't been no crystal stair" and "What happens to a dream deferred?," many of his poems are beloved by readers of all ages for their strong emotions, lucidity, and depth.
 
Critical Insights:
ALICE MUNRO


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Over more than forty years, Alice Munro's reputation has slowly grown to a point where she is today recognized as one of the finest living short story writers. Often compared to Chekhov for her fastidiously structured plots and psychological complexity, she has won the admiration of writers and readers around the world.
 
Critical Insights:
EUGENE O'NEILL


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Eugene O'Neill has the distinction, to this day, of being the only American dramatist to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, which he received in 1936. The most remarkable thing about this award is that O'Neill received it before he wrote the plays that are considered his masterpieces and for which he is now best known, The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey Into Night, and A Moon for the Misbegotten.
 
Critical Insights:
GEORGE ORWELL


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

"Big Brother Is Watching You," "Two plus two make five," "Some animals are more equal than others"… George Orwell's two famous novels, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, have added numerous phrases to the lexicon we use to describe our world. Though both novels were written as critiques of communist Russia, their relevance has endured for decades after the end of the Cold War.
 
Critical Insights:
SALMAN RUSHDIE


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

From his first great success with Midnight's Children to his more recent Shalimar the Clown and Luke and the Fire of Life, Salman Rushdie has again and again proven himself to be a provocative master of tragicomedy. His pointed, humorous critiques of today's postcolonial and cross-cultural world have garnered him numerous awards, as well as stirred controversy around the world.
 
Critical Insights:
HERMAN MELVILLE


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

"Call me Ishmael," begins Melville's most famous novel, Moby Dick. Like much of the Melville's writing, it's a deceptively simple line, a seemingly transparent surface that opens into dark oceans of meaning. And like many of Melville's novels, what follows is an incredible tale of madness, obsession, and disaster rife with metaphysical symbolism. Though neglected for decades after his death, today Melville stands as one of America's preeminent writers.
 
Critical Insights:
CORMAC McCARTHY


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

In just the last two decades, Cormac McCarthy has ascended terrain as sheer as any depicted in his fiction: from an award-winning "writer's writer" with a cult following who had never sold more than a few thousand copies of his first five published novels, he rose to the top of best seller lists, became a popular commodity for Hollywood adaptations, and has gained a reputation as one of the authors who best represent that certain something that is our American culture.
 
Critical Insights:
LOUISE ERDRICH


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

One of the great Native American novelists of the present day, Louise Erdrich has won over legions of readers with her strong attachment to the people and places of her native North Dakota, her carefully constructed plots, and her wonderfully complex and sympathetic characters. From her early success with Love Medicine to her latest offerings with The Plague of Doves and Shadow Tag, she has again and again proven herself to be a true sorceress of language.
 
Critical Insights:
MARGARET ATWOOD


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

As the author of over forty works-including over a dozen novels and over a dozen books of poetry as well as collections of short stories and short fictions, works of literary criticism, and collections of her essays and reviews-Margaret Atwood is indisputably Canada's best-known contemporary author.
 
Critical Insights:
STEPHEN KING


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

For nearly forty years, King has fed our imaginations with a panoply of spooks and monsters, from telekinetic teenagers, vampires, and malevolent clowns to space aliens, crazed fans, haunted hotels, and our own psyches. Moreover, he is one of the country's most commercially successful writers. Yet for all of King's popular success, critics have long been hesitant to welcome him into the pantheon of American literature. Still, the National Book Foundation awarded King its Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2003.
 
Critical Insights:
EMILY DICKINSON


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Though she rarely left her hometown of Amherst, Massachusetts, and in her later years never ventured beyond the fence encircling her family's home, Dickinson wrote some of the world's most original, enigmatic, and expansive poems. By turns strangely intimate, witty, sardonic, ebullient, and frighteningly sublime, the poems have since fascinated generations of readers and generated endless speculation about the poet's mind and life.
 
Critical Insights:
F. SCOTT FITZGERALD


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

First bursting into the American consciousness with the evanescently lyrical This Side of Paradise, Fitzgerald seemed to have a charmed life. Overnight, he became wealthy, married the girl of his dreams, and set about living the sort of beautiful, stylish life most of us only dream of. But in time the grandeur faded, as it does from the lives of his best characters, in a haze of parties, marital discord, and squandered youth and potential.
 
Critical Insights:
ISABEL ALLENDE


One volume, 384 pages
List Price: $105

The border between fact and fiction has always been a porous one for Isabel Allende. Her acclaimed first novel, The House of the Spirits, began as a letter to her dying grandfather yet is filled with ghosts and green-haired and clairvoyant women; her memoir Paula, though ostensibly nonfiction, is a moving and highly imaginative account of her family history and the illness and death of her daughter, Paula.
 
Critical Insights:
ARTHUR MILLER


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Among the twentieth century's greatest playwrights, Arthur Miller is recognized today as a formative influence on modern American drama. His best plays seamlessly combine the psychological and the social to produce riveting treatments of the fraught relationship between the individual and society. Like his plays, he maintained a strong sense of political and social responsibility, serving as the president of PEN International and advocating on behalf of artists everywhere for freedom of expression.
 
Critical Insights:
MARK TWAIN


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Mark Twain remains one of America's most beloved literary figures. Eminently quotable, his best writing combines irreverent humor with practical good sense and deep human feeling and, perhaps more so than the work of any other author, defines what it is to be an American. His most beloved novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is a nostalgic paean to a simpler, more innocent America, one in which it is still possible to "light out for the Territory."
 
Critical Insights:
JOHN STEINBECK


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Easily one of America's most important novelists, John Steinbeck has been a favorite among readers of all kinds for decades. A versatile, restless writer who constantly experimented with new forms and genres, he seems to offer something for everyone—whether rapturous descriptions of the California landscape, fierce denunciations of social injustices, simple morality tales, or just picaresque adventure stories.
 
Critical Insights:
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Tennessee Williams burst onto the American stage with The Glass Menagerie in 1944, and over the course of his career continued to write some of the twentieth century's most enduring plays. A two-time Pulitzer winner for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Williams gave America some of its most memorable and fascinating characters in Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski, Maggie the Cat and Brick Pollitt, and Tom and Amanda Wingfield.
 
Critical Insights:
JAMES BALDWIN


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Although James Baldwin today holds a secure position in the canon of twentieth-century literature, more than twenty years after his death, he still remains one of America's most evasive authors. The body of his work is wide-ranging, complex, and occasionally contradictory, the product of a mind in a tireless dialogue itself and its paradoxical and swiftly changing culture.
 
Critical Insights:
CHARLES DICKENS


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

More than 175 years since Charles Dickens won over readers with his irrepressible Pickwick Papers, he still endures as one of the world's most beloved and influential novelists. We need only think of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge exclaiming, "Bah, humbug!" or the poor, orphaned Oliver Twist imploring, "Please, sir, I want some more" to realize how deeply his characters and sensibilities have infiltrated and shaped our own minds.
 
Critical Insights:
JANE AUSTEN


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Original essays offer readers an introduction to Austen by explicating the cultural and time period during which Austen wrote her classic novels and the long history of Austen criticism. There are also close readings of two of her novels, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. Nine other essays are reprinted here to deepen readers' understanding of the author and her work.
 
Critical Insights:
TONI MORRISON


One volume, 352 pages
List Price: $105

Essays consider Morrison's body of work and the cultural contexts in which that work was written. In an essay by leading African American literary scholar Trudier Harris readers will get a sweeping overview of the importance of Morrison's first six novels. Other essays examine community and identity in works such as Beloved, Jazz, and Paradise.

 

 
Critical Insights:
ERNEST HEMINGWAY


One volume, 320 pages
List Price: $105

All his key works are closely considered, including Hemingway's most widely read and anthologized short stories. Essays lend context to Hemingway's life and accomplishments with their examinations of World War I and the Spanish Civil War, the critical reception of Hemingway's oeuvre, Hemingway's prose style, and the psychology and anti-Semitic strains of The Sun Also Rises.
 
Critical Insights:
GWENDOLYN BROOKS


One volume, 384 pages
List Price: $105

Four original essays in this set explore how the Harlem Renaissance and the civil rights movement influenced Brooks's work, with close readings of selections from A Street in Bronzeville, Annie Allen, The Bean Eaters, In the Mecca, Riot, and Family Pictures. Essays also survey the major Brooks criticism and Brooks's novel Maud Martha and offer a close reading of "The Chicago Defender Sends a Man to Little Rock."
 
Critical Insights:
T. S. ELIOT


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Essay selections offer detailed analyses of Eliot's most important works. These essays examine Eliot's poetry and critical writings through the lens of his relations to romanticism and modernism; analyze the psychic dramas contained in his early and unpublished poems; investigate the biographical details informing Eliot's work; and assess the Eliot canon and his contributions to poststructuralism.
 
Critical Insights:
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN


One volume, 328 pages
List Price: $105

Essays consider his times and impact on American culture. They also consider the culture of 18th century America and his very public life. There is discussion of his multi-facetedness. Reprinted essays examine his legacy, provide a careful close reading and analysis of biographical contexts in "The Elysian Fields," and consider the context of his support of the freedom and responsibility of the press.
 
Critical Insights:
ROBERT FROST


One volume, 440 pages
List Price: $105

Brings together a variety of critical perspectives on Frost's life and works. Four original essays outline the works' historical and cultural contexts, survey the major pieces of Frost criticism, examine Frost's relationship with modernist poetics, and consider how his use of paradox and contradiction participate in and differ from the use established by Whitman and Emerson.
 
Critical Insights:
GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ


One volume, 368 pages
List Price: $105

Essays offer a timeline of García Márquez's achievements, combine biographical information with a broad overview of how One Hundred Years of Solitude was received by the literary world, and discuss the mystical character of Remedios in that novel. Another original essay compares García Márquez's travelogue 90 dias and Don Quixote de La Mancha.
 
Critical Insights:
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE


One volume, 344 pages
List Price: $105

Presents a variety of critical viewpoints and an array of critical approaches. Considers the cultural and historical contexts of Hawthorne's works and examines the state of Hawthorne studies through changing critical fashions. Essays look to biographical speculation, consider Hawthorne's psychology, and look closely to those issues that concerned Hawthorne most. The Scarlet Letter receives critical attention.
 
Critical Insights:
BARBARA KINGSOLVER


One volume, 336 pages
List Price: $105

Essays draw on Kingsolver's biography to discuss the evolution of her political convictions and locate her as an inheritor of the political fiction of the 1930s; review the major pieces of Kingsolver criticism and the popular reception of her books; demonstrate how her first novel, The Bean Trees, affirms positive portrayals of racial and ethnic others; and offer an ecofeminist reading of Prodigal Summer.
 
Critical Insights:
SHERMAN ALEXIE


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Noticed initially as a Native American author, Sherman Alexie has since achieved a reputation as a significant figure in the American literary landscape. The essays in this set discuss many different aspects of Alexie's works. Original essays include a comparison of Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven to Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies. Other essays discuss Reservation Blues, The Summer of the Black Widows, and two films, Smoke Signals and The Business of Fancydancing.
 
Critical Insights:
SAUL BELLOW


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Essays employ a variety of literary approaches, and all of the full-length novels and two of the most important novellas, Seize the Day and The Bellasrosa Connection, are discussed at length. In addition, Bellow's best collection of shorter works, Him with His Food in His Mouth and Other Stories, is the focus of one essay. Other essays examine Bellow's early story, "Looking for Mr. Green," and "Something to Remember Me By."
 
Critical Insights:
ALBERT CAMUS


One volume, 360 pages
List Price:$105

This volume offers original contributions, while also reprinting a sampling of some of the more trenchant earlier essays about the man and his work. Essays discuss the reception of Camus's oeuvre, themes that have inspired discussion, points of continuing controversy, and Camus's own reaction to his hostile critics. Also discussed is his most famous work, The Stranger.
 
Critical Insights:
WILLA CATHER


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

This volume explores why and how she is one of America's most treasured and most expansive writers. Original essays discuss Cather's cultural position and her use of radical new literary techniques. Other essays analyze the role of the protagonist in Cather's O Pioneers!, as well as a comparison of One of Ours to F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby in light of the themes of the waste land and the Holy Grail.
 
Critical Insights:
JOHN CHEEVER


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Original essays discuss the basic facts of Cheever's life and critical reputation. Providing these facts is especially important in the case of a man who was prone to self-invention and self-mythologizing. Though his version of his life was long accepted as fact, after his death it has been complicated by unflattering revelations in his daughter's memoirs, in his published journals and in two biographies. Other essays discuss Cheever's decorous style and fragmented structure, and his fascination with language.
 
Critical Insights:
HARLAN ELLISON


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Essays discuss Ellison's relationship with the science fiction and fantasy community, his sense that mainstream critics slighted his work, his easy postmodern accommodation of popular culture references and images, and his ambiguous standing in the literary establishment. Also included is a comparison of Ellison's vision of dystopian hell with that of Cormac McCarthy's, and an examination of the underlying mythological and psychological themes of Ellison's works.
 
Critical Insights:
LILLIAN HELLMAN


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

Several essays in this work address Hellman's most famous work The Children's Hour. These essays address the controversial theme of lesbianism as well as the roles of good and evil in the play. Other essays address the accuracy of the portrayal of the Civil War in The Little Foxes, a commentary on the comparison of Toys in the Attic to the plays of Tennessee Williams and the influence of the Cold War on Hellman's playwriting and politics.
 
Critical Insights:
JACK LONDON


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

This volume begins with an essay entitled "On Jack London," which is a brief discussion of his life and works. A longer biographical section follows. Original essays include a discussion of the literary careers of Jack London and Mark Twain and a close examination of the critical reception of London's works. Other essays discuss London's use of Carl Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious, his use of Naturalism in his early works and the themes of androgyny in his novels.
 
Critical Insights:
FLANNERY O'CONNOR


One volume, 360 pages
List Price:$105

This volume includes previously published essays that clarify her religious ideas, her narrative technique, her use of humor, and the regional and social context of her fiction. Original essays discuss the religious context of such stories as "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and "Good Country People". Other essays explore O'Connor's use of humor in the story "Temple of the Holy Ghost" as well as her two short novels Wise Blood and The Violent Bear it Away.
 
Critical Insights:
JOHN UPDIKE


One volume, 360 pages
List Price: $105

John Updike's extensive body of work is the focus of this volume. New essays include a discussion of the social and historical context of Updike's work and a consideration of Updike's recurrent Jewish-American character. The blocked writer Henry Bech is discussed as a vehicle for his creator to treat the relationship between an author and his work. Several republished essays discuss Updike's Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom novels, his "Scarlet Letter Trilogy" and the novels featuring Harry Bech.