A New Handbook of Literary Terms David Mikics

Publication date:
23 Feb 2010
Yale University Press
368 pages: 235 x 156mm
Sales territories:
World excluding India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives

An indispensable literary reference guide that comes at a time of formidable complexity in literary studies

A New Handbook of Literary Terms offers a lively, informative guide to words and concepts that every student of literature needs to know. Mikics’s definitions are essayistic, witty, learned, and always a pleasure to read. They sketch the derivation and history of each term, including especially lucid explanations of verse forms and providing a firm sense of literary periods and movements from classicism to postmodernism. The Handbook also supplies a helpful map to the intricate and at times confusing terrain of literary theory at the beginning of the twenty-first century: the author has designated a series of terms, from New Criticism to queer theory, that serves as a concise but thorough introduction to recent developments in literary study.

Mikics’s Handbook is ideal for classroom use at all levels, from freshman to graduate. Instructors can assign individual entries, many of which are well-shaped essays in their own right. Useful bibliographical suggestions are given at the end of most entries. The Handbook’s enjoyable style and thoughtful perspective will encourage students to browse and learn more. Every reader of literature will want to own this compact, delightfully written guide.

David Mikics is professor of English at the University of Houston. He is the author of several books, including Who Was Jacques Derrida?, The Limits of Moralizing, and The Romance of Individualism in Emerson and Nietzsche. He lives in Houston.

"It is aimed at a spread of abilities, and manages to be all things to all readers.  I found it good to read—as enjoyable as any theoretical manuscript I've read.”—Alastair Fowler, University of Edinburgh 

"A very learned and refreshingly lively handbook."—Ian Balfour, York University 

"Very few books give much more than they promise. Mikics's New Handbook is superbly generous in offering vast stores of insight and information. It is an exuberant introduction to all of Western literature and criticism."—Harold Bloom