Nancy Glazener. Literature in the Making: A History of U.S. Literary Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. xii, 332p. ISBN 9780199390137. US $65.
Early in her engaging new book, Nancy Glazener describes literature as both a “collective invention” and an “institution” (3). In this way, she attempts to argue for its status as a construct – created collaboratively and refined over time – even as she suggests that literature also has a settled monolithic quality propped up by libraries, schools, publishing houses, and other large seemingly-static forces.