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Tag: authorship

Innes M. Keighren, Charles W. J. Withers, and Bill Bell. Travels into Print: Exploration, Writing, and Publishing with John Murray, 1773–1859

Innes M. Keighren, Charles W. J. Withers, and Bill Bell. Travels into Print: Exploration, Writing, and Publishing with John Murray, 1773–1859. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2015. xiv, 370p., ill. (w/ col. plates). ISBN 9780226429533. US $45 (hardback).

Research in print culture has increasingly come to take account of the way books travel in space as well as time: not for nothing was SHARP’s 2013 conference on the theme “geographies of the book.” This significant and timely volume, drawing on the uniquely rich records of the John Murray archive at the National Library of Scotland, is a major contribution to the study of the journeys made not only by authors, but also by their books.

Natasha Simonova. Early Modern Authorship and Prose Continuations: Adaptation and Ownership from Sidney to Richardson

Natasha Simonova. Early Modern Authorship and Prose Continuations: Adaptation and Ownership from Sidney to Richardson. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. viii, 232p., ill. ISBN 9781137474124. £55 (hardback).

What does Fifty Shades of Grey have in common with Sidney’s Arcadia? The question might at first seem absurd, but Natasha Simonova’s new volume situates both texts within a long tradition of prose continuations, or what we today might call “fan fiction” – continuations of a narrative written by someone other than the story’s original author. This study of prose continuations from the late sixteenth through the mid-eighteenth century provides an intelligent and nuanced intervention in the history of authorship.

Kimberly Johnson. Made Flesh: Sacrament and Poetics in Post-Reformation England

Kimberly Johnson. Made Flesh: Sacrament and Poetics in Post-Reformation England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014. 248p., ill. ISBN 9780812245882. US $59.95 (hardcover).

Kimberly Johnson’s Made Flesh makes clear the goal of her work in its striking and direct opening sentence: “This is a book about how poems work, and about how the interpretive demands of sacramental worship inform the production of poetic texts” (1). Johnson sets her project apart from other critical texts on post-Reformation sacramental poetics, which aimed to do this very thing, but failed, as Johnson posits, to truly engage “the way poems work as literary artifacts” (1).

Timothy Laquintano. Mass Authorship and the Rise of Self-Publishing

Timothy Laquintano. Mass Authorship and the Rise of Self-Publishing. Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press, 2016. xi, 243p. ISBN 9781609384456. US$ 25.00 (paperback).

Over the past 20 years, scholars, public intellectuals, parents, and teachers have fretted over the impact of the computer and other digital technologies that have transformed reading. Of course, the computer has also changed the way we write, edit, and share texts as well as the ways that we locate and purchase them. And, as Timothy Laquintano explains in Mass Authorship and the Rise of Self-Publishing, digital tools have completely transformed publishing by making it quicker, easier, cheaper, and far more accessible.

Vanessa Guignery, ed. Crossed Correspondences: Writers as Readers and Critics of their Peers

Vanessa Guignery, ed. Crossed Correspondences: Writers as Readers and Critics of their Peers. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016. 285p. ISBN 9781443886994. GBP £47.99 (hardcover).

This bilingual volume contains essays about a specific kind of correspondence between writers. A wide range of authors working in French and English is represented here – from Gabriel Harvey and Edmund Spenser to Paul Auster and J. M. Coetzee – but the essays come together in exploring what the volume’s editor, Vanessa Guignery, describes as “private literary criticism” passed between writers.

Jesse Zuba. The First Book: Twentieth Century Poetic Careers in America

Jesse Zuba. The First Book: Twentieth Century Poetic Careers in America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016. xiii, 213p. ISBN 9780691164472. US $39.50.

On the face of it, the notion of a “poetic career” seems contradictory. As Jesse Zuba acknowledges, the benefits can be obscure, retirement plans nonexistent. But the strength of The First Book is its articulation of contradictions at the heart of this idea, and how twentieth-century American poets from Wallace Stevens to Louise Glück work them out.

Susan M. Ryan. The Moral Economies of American Authorship: Reputation, Scandal, and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Marketplace

Susan M. Ryan. The Moral Economies of American Authorship: Reputation, Scandal, and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Marketplace. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. x, 217p. ISBN 9780190274023. US $65.00.

Deluxe limited editions with an author’s inscription were common at the end of the nineteenth century, but it is surprising to find a 1900 Haworth Edition of the novels of Charlotte Brontë signed, “Sincerely yours, C. Brontë,” as she had died a half-century earlier. While Susan Ryan only references the practice of facsimile signatures in passing, her discussion of what she calls the “moral economy” of authorship makes sense of this practice as a marketing ploy.

Robert J. Norrell. Alex Haley and the Books That Changed a Nation

Robert J. Norrell. Alex Haley and the Books That Changed a Nation. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2015. x, 251p., ill. ISBN 9781137279606. US $27.00 (hardback).

It is difficult to believe that this is the first biography of Alex Haley, the author who wrote perhaps the two most influential books on African-American history in the twentieth century. Robert Norrell skillfully examines the extraordinary achievements of the enigmatic man behind Roots (1976) and The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965), books that transformed Americans’ understanding of race.

Vincent L. Barnett and Alexis Weedon. Elinor Glyn as Novelist, Moviemaker, Glamour Icon and Business Woman

Vincent L. Barnett and Alexis Weedon. Elinor Glyn as Novelist, Moviemaker, Glamour Icon and Business Woman. Farnham, UK & Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. x, 238p., ill. ISBN 9781472421821. £60 (hardback).

Vincent L. Barnett and Alexis Weedon provide the first full-length, scholarly examination of the professional life of the internationally renowned British writer and early Hollywood personality, Elinor Glyn (1864–1943). Although few recall the name today, the authors ably indicate that a serious study of Glyn – whom they call “a pioneer of a new mode of professional authorship” (3) – is long overdue.

Sari Edelstein. Between the Novel and the News: The Emergence of American Women’s Writing

Sari Edelstein. Between the Novel and the News: The Emergence of American Women’s Writing. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2014. 226p., 7 ill. ISBN 9780813935904. US $29.50.

Sari Edelstein’s Between the Novel and the News offers a bold corrective. While scholars and teachers have often connected male realist writers to journalism – the opening of Howells’s The Rise of Silas Lapham in which the eponymous character is being interviewed for a newspaper series is a quintessentially realist moment – critics have not given similar attention to how women writers in the long nineteenth century struggled to use and counter journalistic depictions of women and journalistic modes of narration. As Edelstein writes, “women writers have long regarded the press an ideological problem whose social and political influence had serious repercussions for lived experience” (148).