Literature in English: How and Why

2nd Edition

Dominic Rainsford

June 1, 2020 Forthcoming
Textbook - 272 Pages
ISBN 9780367228866 - CAT# K421973

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Literature in English: How and Why is an accessible guide for students. It deals with the fundamental concepts of literary form and genre; the history of English-language literature from the medieval period to the present; relations between the study of literature and other disciplines; literary theory; researching a topic; and writing a paper. The new edition contains a brand new chapter which takes literary theory to another level, using it to link literature to the issues that concern us most, whether in our own lives or in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The book has also been fully updated throughout, with significant additions to the introduction and further reading sections.

Overall, Literature in English:

• Grounds the study of literature throughout by referencing a selection of well-known novels, plays and poems

• Examines the central questions that readers ask when confronting literary texts, and shows how these make literary theory meaningful and necessary

• Links British, American and postcolonial literature into a coherent whole

• Discusses film as literature and provides the basic conceptual tools needed to study film within a literature-course framework

• Places particular emphasis on interdisciplinarity by examining the connections between the study of literature and other disciplines

• Links literary theory to current global challenges, placing special emphasis on new and evolving approaches such as ecocriticism, new materialism, and the spatial turn

• Provides extensive guidance on further reading

Written in a clear and engaging style, this is an essential guide for literature students around the world.


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