Great American Fragments

Willie Masters’ Lonesome Wife by William H. Gass

The Last Fair Deal Going Down by David Rhodes

Museums and Women and Other Stories by John Updike

Sadness by Donald Barthelme

Does Frodo Live?

Master of Middle-earth: The Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien by Paul H. Kocher

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings, Vol. II: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings, Vol. III: The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Chaotic Politics of the South

The Changing Politics of the South edited by William C. Havard

Biracial Politics: Conflict and Coalition in the Metropolitan South by Chandler Davidson

Let the Glory Out: My South and Its Politics by Albert Gore

Good Children’s Books!

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Joseph Schindelman

The Tenth Life of Osiris Oaks by Wally Cox and Everett Greenbaum, illustrated by F.A. Fitzgerald

The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart, illustrated by Shirley Hughes

A Castle of Bone by Penelope Farmer

The House of Wings by Betsy Byars, illustrated by Daniel Schwartz

No Way of Telling by Emma Smith

Goldengrove by Jill Paton Walsh

Friday and Robinson by Michel Tournier, illustrated by David Stone Martin

Once Upon a Time, the Fairy Tale World of Arthur Rackham edited by Margery Darrell

The Light Princess by George MacDonald, illustrated by Maurice Sendak

The Golden Key by George MacDonald, illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Beckett First and Last

The Lost Ones by Samuel Beckett

More Pricks Than Kicks by Samuel Beckett

The Shape of Chaos: An Interpretation of the Art of Samuel Beckett by David H. Hesla


Janet Adam Smith (1905–1999) was a Scottish writer and critic. Educated at Oxford, she worked as an editor at a number of literary publications, including The Listener, The Criterion and New Statesman. She also edited the Faber Book of Modern Verse and its companion volume, the Faber Book of Children’s Verse. An accomplished mountaineer, Smith wrote about her adventures in Mountain Holidays; her other books include Life Among the Scots and John Buchnan and His World.

W.H. Auden (1907–1973) was an English poet, playwright, and essayist who lived and worked in the United States for much of the second half of his life. His work, from his early strictly metered verse, and plays written in collaboration with Christopher Isherwood, to his later dense poems and penetrating essays, represents one of the major achievements of twentieth-century literature.

Robert Craft is a conductor and writer. Craft’s close working friendship with Igor Stravinsky is the subject of his memoir, An Improbable Life. In 2002 he was awarded the International Prix du Disque at the Cannes Music Festival.

D. W. Harding (1906–1993) was a British psychologist and literary critic. In1933 he joined FR Leavis as an editor of Scrutiny, where much of his literary criticism appeared, but also work, notably on aggression, that led to The Impulse to Dominate and Social Psychology and Individual Values.

Elizabeth Hardwick (1916–2007) was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and educated at the University of Kentucky and Columbia University. A recipient of a Gold Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is the author of three novels, a biography of Herman Melville, and four collections of essays. She was a co-founder and advisory editor of The New York Review of Books and contributed more than one hundred reviews, articles, reflections, and letters to the magazine. NYRB Classics publishes Sleepless Nights, a novel, and Seduction and Betrayal, a study of women in literature.

Alfred Kazin (1915–1998) was a writer and teacher. Among his books are On Native Grounds, a study of American literature from Howells to Faulkner, and the memoirs A Walker in the Cityand New York Jew. In 1996, he received the first Lifetime Award in Literary Criticism from the Truman Capote Literary Trust.

Alison Lurie is the Frederic J. Whiton Professor of American Literature Emerita at Cornell. She is the author of ten novels, two collections of essays on children’s literature, and the editor of The Oxford Book of Fairy Tales. Her most recent book is Reading for Fun. (March 2017)

J.H. Plumb (1911–2001) was a British historian. He taught at Cambridge and Columbia. Plumb was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1968 and was knighted in 1982. His works include England in the Eighteenth Century, The Making of a Historian,and The American Experience.

Christopher Ricks teaches at Boston University in the Core Curriculum and the Editorial Institute and is a former president of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers. From 2004 to 2009 he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford. His recent books include True Friendship: Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht, and Robert Lowell Under the Sign of Eliot and Pound and Decisions and Revisions in T.S. Eliot.

Michael Wood is Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Princeton. His most recent book is On Empson.

C. Vann Woodward (1908–1999) was a historian of the American South. He taught at Johns Hopkins and at Yale, where he was named the Sterling Professor of History. His books include Mary Chesnut’s Civil War and The Old World’s New World.