A Flying Start to the Academic Year – New Books for Students

By | October 4, 2011

The summer really seems to have vanished in the blink of an eye, hasn’t it? All of a sudden, here we are at the start of a new academic year! So while some of you may be planning lectures and seminars, or returning to study or even heading off to University for the first time, I thought it would be a good week to highlight some of our recently published student guides.

Our Texts and Contexts series is designed to guide students of English literature through the various contexts – cultural, critical and historical – of the books that they will be reading in class. It’s a very smartly put together series, covering not only the original contexts of publication but also providing guides to the key texts in a particular field and also accounts of the afterlives of these works. To help students get the most out of their studies the books also include guides to further reading and online resources as well as “research questions” to promote further thought, discussion and study.

Childrens Lit in Context We have two new books in the series that have recently published. Children’s Literature in Context offers students a guide to one of the most popular undergraduate courses, ranging from Lewis Carroll’s Alice books through The Wizard of Oz and the Narnia chronicles to the Harry Potter saga and Philip Pullman. The book also covers the plethora of film and TV adaptations of these classic works that, for many of us, shape our reading habits for the rest of our lives.

The Contemporary American Novel in Context sets the scene for those studying US fiction from 1980 to the present. The book explores the contexts for such writers as Bret Easton Ellis, Toni Morrision, Cormac McCarthy and Don Delillo and the ways in which some of the most important and globally recognizable names in contemporary literature have grappled with such topics as the ‘War on Terror’, globalization and identity politics. This book also covers the rise of online fan communities around some of these iconic authors, bringing the story right up to date. There's a free preview of the book that you can access by clicking on the button next to the book jacket.

Or, you can check out the Texts and Contexts series page to find out more about these and current and future books in the series.

Happy reading!


Senior Editor,
Continuum Literary Studies

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