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The Novel: A Biography Hardcover – 13 May 2014

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1200 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (13 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674724739
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674724730
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 5.5 x 26.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 529,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


I toast a certainty the long and fruitful life of poet, critic, and scholar Michael Schmidt s book, The Novel: A Biography. Readers for generations will listen through Schmidt s ear to thrilling conversations, novelist to novelist, and walk guided by Schmidt through these 1200 pages of his joyful and wise understanding. - Stanley Moss

Michael Schmidt is one of literature s most ambitious champions, riding out against the naysayers, the indifferent, and the purse holders, determined to enlarge readers vision and rouse us all to pay attention. Were it not for his rich and adventurous catalogue of publications at Carcanet Press, and the efforts of a few other brave spirits at other small presses (such as Bloodaxe Books) the landscape of poetry in the U.K. would be depopulated, if not desolate. He has now turned his prodigious energies to telling the story of the novel s transformation through time: a Bildungsroman of the genre from a persevering and unappeasable lover. --Marina Warner

Michael Schmidt...offers an eclectic variety in The Novel: A Biography... while the book is arranged chronologically, the chapters are theme-based (e.g., The Human Comedy, Teller and Tale, Sex and Sensibility ) and follow no specific outline, blending author biographies, interviews, reviews, and criticism into fluid narratives. Schmidt s discussion of Charlotte Brontë s Jane Eyre not only offers an understanding of the Gothic Romance genre but also reveals lesser-known facts about Brontë s life. In this way, Schmidt fulfills Brontë s wish to be judged as an author not as a woman. This is a compelling edition for writers and other readers alike; a portrayal that is aligned with Edwin Muir s belief that the only thing which can tell us about the novel is the novel. --Annalisa Pesek, Library Journal

Writers, reading, invigorate the novel. That is both the theme and plot of Schmidt s encyclopedic compendium tracing the novel over 700 years. [...] I set out to write this book without an overarching theory of the novel, Schmidt admits. I had no point to prove. He does, however, prove his wide-ranging reading tastes, his ability to weave a colorful literary tapestry and his conviction that the novel is irrepressible. --Kirkus, 1st March 2014

About the Author

Michael Schmidt is Professor of Poetry at the University of Glasgow and a writer in residence at St John's College, Cambridge. He is founder and editorial and managing director of Carcanet Press.

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22 February 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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4 February 2015
Format: Hardcover
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews
5.0 out of 5 starsThe Book You Should Read to Better Understand the Books You Read
28 August 2017 - Published on
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2 people found this helpful.
Roger Conner
4.0 out of 5 starsA satisfying challenge
1 March 2015 - Published on
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3 people found this helpful.
David S. Wellhauser
4.0 out of 5 starsBrilliant, Idiosyncratic, Powerfully Argued
14 August 2014 - Published on
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26 people found this helpful.
D. stevens
5.0 out of 5 starsa classic
15 May 2015 - Published on
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One person found this helpful.
kevin mace
5.0 out of 5 starsis a magnificent accomplishment that I recommend wholeheartedly.
5 August 2014 - Published on
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
21 people found this helpful.
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