Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia 5e: Fifth Edition

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9780060890162: Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia 5e: Fifth Edition
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Long recognized as the supreme reference on world literature, Benét's Reader's Encyclopedia is the single-most complete one-volume encyclopedia available for those with a serious interest in the subject.

More than 10,000 entries explore all aspects of literature from around the world: biographies of poets and playwrights, novelists and belletrists; plot synopses and character sketches from important works; historical data on literary schools, movements, terms, and awards; myths and legends; and more.

Completely revised and updated, the fifth edition continues to expand on the diversity of today's canon, with greater attention to traditions from around the globe. In particular, this edition brings new focus to the changing landscape of world religion and culture, as well as to accurate reflection of contemporary reexaminations and interpretations, such as those of the Ottomans, Olmecs, and Umayyads.

For more than sixty years, William Rose Benét and the editors who succeeded him have upheld the level of quality that distinguished the original Benét's Reader's Encyclopedia. Like its predecessors, this new edition will teach and delight, illuminate and expound, and enrich the pleasure of reading in countless ways.

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About the Author:

Bruce Murphy is a writer and poet who holds a bachelor's degree in English from Harvard University and master's degrees in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chicago and New York University respectively. His debut book of poems, Sing, Sing, Sing, was the first recipient of the Bobst Award.

From Booklist:

First published in 1948, Benét’s  is one of those eminently useful and browsable reference sources that transcend the print-versus-electronic debate (at least for now). The fourth edition, published in 1996, “responded to the explosion of interest in other cultures.” The fifth edition continues down that road, with a goal “to do justice to all traditions.” Biographies of world poets, playwrights, novelists, and essayists are joined by plot summaries for major works and entries on literary characters, myth and legend, national literatures, genres, movements, and more. In addition, there are entries from history, science, philosophy—anything that is “likely to be encountered by the general reader.” Among new entries are those for Michael Chabon, Jonathan Franzen, Roman Polanski, and Harry Potter. Also new are entries for “Asian writers outside the traditions of China, India, and Japan,” among them José Rizal (1861–1896), from the Philippines, and Lee Kok Liang (1927–1992), from Malaysia. Numerous entries have been revised, though some, such as Arab-Israeli conflict and Copyright, are out-of-date. Missing are entries for emerging forms, such as graphic novels. Also needed is an entry for the Man Booker Prize. In his preface to the first edition (reprinted in the fifth), William Rose Benét referred to his encyclopedia as “a well-organized supplementary memory.” Though “supplementary memory” is one of many functions now performed by the Web, there are few libraries that wouldn’t want to have this classic on the ready-reference shelf. --Mary Ellen Quinn

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