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B-Side Books: Essays on Forgotten Favorites (Public Books)

B-Side Books: Essays on Forgotten Favorites (Public Books)

Current price: $105.00
Publication Date: June 1st, 2021
Columbia University Press
Usually Ships in 1 to 5 Days


There are the acknowledged classics of world literature: the canonical works assigned in schools, topping every must-read list . . . and then there are the B-Sides. These are the books that slipped through the cracks, went unread, missed their rightful appointment with posterity. They were ahead of their times or behind their times or on a whole different schedule than the rest of the universe.

What do you do when a book that you love has been neglected or dismissed by everyone else? In B-Side Books, leading writers, critics, and scholars show why their favorite forgotten books deserve a new audience. From dusty westerns and far-out science fiction to obscure Czech novelists and romance-novel precursors, the contributors advocate for the unsung virtues of overlooked books. They write about unheralded novels, poetry collections, memoirs, and more with understanding, respect, passion, and love.

In these thoughtful, often personal essays, contributors--including Stephanie Burt, Caleb Crain, Merve Emre, Ursula K. Le Guin, Carlo Rotella, and Namwali Serpell--read books by writers such as Helen DeWitt, Shirley Jackson, Stanislaw Lem, Dambudzo Marechera, Paule Marshall, and Charles Portis.

About the Author

John Plotz is Barbara Mandel Professor of Humanities at Brandeis University. His books include Semi-Detached: The Aesthetics of Virtual Experience Since Dickens (2017) and the illustrated children's book Time and the Tapestry: A William Morris Adventure (2014). He is the editor of the B-Sides series on Public Books and the cohost of the podcasts Recall This Book and Novel Dialogue.