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Literature and Criticism: Literary Criticism

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Some Ways of Thinking about Literature and Authors

  • Regionally: authors from the Southeast, Southwest, British Islands
  • Thematically:  poems about death, love, nature, God, conflict
  • Temporally: short stories from the Harlam Renaissance, from World War I, from the Jazz Age
  • Demographically: black women poets, gay male novelists, feminist playwrights
  • Philosophically:  Existential authors, Beat novelists, Romantic poets, revolutionary writers

Online Books

Use the Library's ebook databases to search for available online books.


"this is one great thing that literature can do--it can make us identify with situations and people far away" Chinua Achebe

Some books in the Stacks

Literature Related Databases

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Additional Databases

Print Reference Books

REFERENCE BOOKS - Learning Resources Centers – Available Locations  (M)Main - (P)Palmer – (B)Berkeley

Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC).     REF PN 771.C59  
Use if your author died after December 31, 1959 or is still living.  (M)(P)(B)

Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. (TCLC)   REF PN 771.T84  Use if your author’s death occurred during the years 1900-1959.   (M)

Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism (NCLC)   REF PN 761.N5
Use if your author’s death occurred during the years 1800-1899.   (M)

Literature and Its Times    REF PN 50.L574 1997 (M)
Relates history to literature.  Includes novels, short stories, plays, poems, biographies, essays, speeches, and documents.  Gives focus on the work, events in history at the time the literary work takes place and / or at the time the work was written. 

Great American Writers    REF PS 221.G74 2002 (M)
Includes biographical info and reader’s guides on many Twentieth Century writers.  Focus is given to major works and the writer’s life.

Masterplots II   REF PN 3326.M27 1986 (M)(P)(B)
Examines the theme, characters, plot, style and technique of more than 1200 nineteenth- and twentieth-century works by prominent authors from around the world.

        Drama Series REF PN 6112.5.M37 2004  (M)(P)

        Poetry Series REF PN 1110.5.M37 2002 (M)(P)(B)

        Short Story Series  REF PN 3326.M27 2004  (M)(P)(B)

Poetry Criticism Resources

Poetry Criticism   REF PN 1111.P6  - Poets (M) 

Critical Survey of Poetry   REF PN 1111.C7 (M)(P)(B) 

World Poets    REF PN 1021.W67 2000 (M) 

Drama Criticism Resources

Drama Criticism   REF PN 1625.D72  - Dramatists (M)

Critical Survey of Drama   REF PN 2035.C7 (M)(P)

Short Story Criticism Resources

Short Story Criticism   REF PN 3373.S386  - Short Story Writers (M)

Critical Survey of Short Fiction   REF PN 3373.M24 2001 (M)(P)(B)

The resources listed are suggestions.  Find the area that houses your selection of reference books and browse the other sources available there, as well.