The Oxford Companion to English Literature (Oxford Companions)

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9780192806871: The Oxford Companion to English Literature (Oxford Companions)
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The Oxford Companion to English Literature has long been established as the leading reference resource for students, teachers, scholars, and general readers of English literature. It provides unrivalled coverage of all aspects of English literature - from writers, their works, and the historical and cultural context in which they wrote, to critics, literary theory, and allusions.

For the seventh edition, the Companion has been thoroughly revised and updated to meet the needs and concerns of today's students and general readers. Over 1,000 new entries have been added, ranging from new writers - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Patrick Marber, David Mitchell, Arundhati Roy - to increased coverage of writers and literary movements from around the world. Coverage of American literature has been substantially increased, with new entries on writers such as Cormac McCarthy and Amy Tan and on movements and publications. Contextual and historical coverage has also been expanded, with new entries on European history and culture, post-colonial literature, as well as writers and literary movements from around the world that have influenced English literature.

The Companion has always been a quick and dependable source of reference for students, and the new edition confirms its pre-eminent role as the go-to resource of first choice. All entries have been reviewed, and details of new works, biographies, and criticism have been brought up to date. So also has coverage of the themes, approaches and concepts encountered by students today, from terms to articles on literary theory and theorists. There is increased coverage of writers from around the world, as well as from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and of contextual topics, including film and television, music, and art. Cross-referencing has been thoroughly updated, with stronger linking from writers to thematic and conceptual entries. Meanwhile coverage of popular genres such as children's literature, science fiction, biography, reportage, crime fiction, fantasy or travel literature has been increased substantially, with new entries on writers from Philip Pullman to Anne Frank and from Anais Nin to Douglas Adams.

The seventh edition of this classic Companion - now under the editorship of Dinah Birch, assisted by a team of 28 distinguished associate editors, and over 150 contributors - ensures that it retains its status as the most authoritative, informative, and accessible guide to literature available.

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About the Author:


Dinah Birch is Professor of English Literature at Liverpool University. She was previously a tutorial fellow at Trinity College, Oxford. She specializes particularly in the work of John Ruskin, on whom she has authored and edited a number of books. She has also had numerous other articles and book contributions published.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 9 Up—This work clearly explains erudite concepts and literary and philosophical jargon (from deconstruction to structuralism, etc.), while offering informative and piquant entries on a wide variety of topics (authors, works, movements, characters, historical events) of interest to students and other curious readers. Thoroughly revised since the 2000 edition, the title has much to recommend it; the four introductory essays (especially those on the culture of reading) and the four appendixes add a great deal of value. Information on children's literature has been revised and beefed up: there are now entries on J. K. Rowling and Phillip Pullman, for example, as well as separate entries on some of their works ("His Dark Materials") and characters (Harry Potter). Though lacking some of the inclusiveness and serendipity of Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia (Collins, 2008), this volume provides a great collection of plot summaries and informative essays that range in length from a few dozen words to more than 2 pages. Important authors, such as Frank Bidart, John Guare, and Lanford Wilson, are neglected to make room for plot summaries of mediocre works, but any book expansive enough to contain both Ferdinand de Saussure's theory of structuralism and Richard Scarry's elegant everyman, Lowly Worm, is an essential purchase.—Herman Sutter, Saint Agnes Academy, Houston, TX
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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