Celebrate with 10% off on Literature Titles Featuring Authors Born in December!
Critical Insights: Joseph Conrad
“Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.” 
―  Joseph Conrad,  Heart of Darkness (Via Goodreads.com)
December 2016
ISBN: 978-1-68217-114-1
Price: $105.00
Born December 3rd, 1857
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 .

The purpose of this anthology is to explore Joseph Conrad and his writings from a new perspective. It is written in a way that a reader with zero experience or understanding of Conrad’s bibliography can easily pick up this volume and understand the core concepts and connections. No previous knowledge of Conrad’s personal history or any of his essays, novellas, and novels is required. Yet, critically, this book is also framed in a way that a dedicated Conradian expert will find it well represents the subject matter, while also offering new insight to that well-versed reader.
Critical Insights: Willa Cather
“That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.” 
―  Willa Cather,  My Ántonia (Via Goodreads.com)
Born December 7th, 1873
Original essays discuss Cather's cultural position and her use of radical new literary techniques. The intention of this volume is to serve as a guide for important individual works and their contribution to literature and culture as a whole.

Cather used radical new literary techniques that could be practiced only in the twentieth century. But she also developed her art as a version of what the notable cultural critic Jackson Lears calls "antimodernism," a sense of the aesthetic as opposed to, resisting, modern technology and commercialism.

Other essays show how Cather criticism got to this point. We see feminist work, cultural work; work centering on the canvas of culture and history behind Cather's works. One gives a sense of the philosophical assumptions behind Cather's writing and her positioning of gender, showing how various, and how potentially abstract, feminist approaches to Cather can be. Another offers a diagnosis of the underside of small-town intimacy in  A Lost Lady , both nostalgic and socially optimistic.
September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58765-826-6
Price: $105.00
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Critical Insights: Emily Dickinson
“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.” 
―  Emily Dickinson (Via Goodreads.com)
Born December 10th, 1830
Emily Dickinson's poetry, letters, and life have astounded readers and scholars alike for more than one hundred years. 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 nevertheless wrote some of the world's most original, enigmatic, and expansive poems. And though she was certainly aware of her talent, she largely shunned publication, famously deriding it as "the Auction/ Of the Mind of Man -," and thus upon her death left it to her family to decide what to do with the nearly 1,800 poems she had hoarded in a locked dresser drawer. 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.
October 2010
ISBN: 978-1-58765-695-8
Price: $105.00
Critical Insights: Jane Austen
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” ―  Jane Austen,  Pride and Prejudice (Via Goodreads.com)
October 2009
ISBN: 978-1-58765-638-5
Price: $105.00
Born December 16, 1775
By all accounts, Jane Austen seems to have lived a quiet, circumscribed life. The daughter of a Hampshire clergyman, she never married and rarely ventured outside the close-knit circle of her family and friends. But while her life may have been uneventful, her novels reveal a keen wit, an acute eye for social foibles, and a masterful prose style. Never out of print, her six novels have attracted a legion of enthusiastic fans and spawned multiple unofficial sequels and prequels as well as television and film adaptations.

Original essays offer readers an introduction to Austen by explicating the culture and time period during which Austen wrote her classic novels and the long history of Austen criticism.

The main section of the book provides a sample of critical close readings from a number of schools of thought. Each essay is 2,500-5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "works Cited" along with endnotes. 
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