In his first book devoted exclusively to narrative fiction, America's most original and controversial literary critic and legendary Yale professor writes trenchantly about fifty-two masterworks spanning the Western tradition.
Perhaps no other literary critic but Harold Bloom could--or would--undertake a project of this immensity. And certainly no other critic could bring to it the extraordinary knowledge, understanding, and insight that are the hallmark of Bloom's every book. Ranging across centuries and continents, this final book of his career, gives us the inimitable critic on Don Quixote and Book of Numbers; Wuthering Heights and Absalom, Absalom; Les Miserables and Blood Meridian; Vanity Fair and Invisible Man; The Captain's Daughter and The Reef. He writes about works by Austen, Balzac, Dickens, Tolstoy, James, Conrad, Lawrence, Wolff, Le Guin, Sebald, and many more. Whether you have already read these books, or intend to, or simply care about the importance and power of fiction, Harold Bloom serves as an unparalleled guide through the pages of these 52 masterpieces of the genre.
About the Author
HAROLD BLOOM lived in New Haven and was a Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. Before that, he was Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard. His more than forty books include Possessed by Memory, The Anxiety of Influence, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, The Western Canon, The American Religion, and The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime. He was a MacArthur Fellow, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Gold Medal for Belles Lettres and Criticism, the Catalonia International Prize, and Mexico's Alfonso Reyes International Prize. He lived in New Haven until his death on October 14, 2019, at the age of eighty-nine.
"Fresh insights and renewed joys... fervent... dedicated... [Bloom] candidly analyzes what he considers a novel’s shortcomings and where he differs with other critics’ assessments. [His] ardent celebration of novels is tinged with the inevitable losses of old age... Warm recollections of a singular literary life."