The Bright Book of Life: Novels to Read and Reread (Paperback)

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In Harold Bloom's final book, his first devoted exclusively to narrative fiction, America's most original and controversial literary critic and legendary Yale professor writes trenchantly about forty-eight masterworks spanning the Western tradition.

In this valedictory volume, Yale professor Harold Bloom--who for more than half a century was regarded as America's most daringly original and controversial literary critic--gives us his only book devoted entirely to the art of the novel.

With his hallmark percipience, uncanny erudition, and extraordinary devotion to sublimity, Bloom offers meditations on forty-eight essential works spanning the Western canon, from Don Quixote to The Book of Numbers; from Wuthering Heights to Absalom, Absalom!; from Les Misérables to Blood Meridian; from Vanity Fair to Invisible Man. Here are trenchant appreciations of fiction by, among many others, Austen, Balzac, Dickens, Tolstoy, James, Conrad, Lawrence, Le Guin, and Sebald.

Whether you have already read these books, are planning to, or simply care about the importance and power of fiction, Harold Bloom is your unparalleled guide to understanding them with new intimacy.

About the Author


HAROLD BLOOM lived in New Haven and was a Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University, where he taught for over sixty years. Before that, he was Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard. His more than forty books include Possessed by Memory, The Anxiety of Influence, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, The Western Canon, The American Religion, and The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime. He was a MacArthur Fellow, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Gold Medal for Belles Lettres and Criticism, the Catalonia International Prize, and Mexico's Alfonso Reyes International Prize. He lived in New Haven until his death on October 14, 2019, at the age of eighty-nine.

Praise For…


"Fresh insights and renewed joys... fervent... dedicated... [Bloom] candidly analyzes what he considers a novel’s shortcomings and where he differs with other critics’ assessments. [His] ardent celebration of novels is tinged with the inevitable losses of old age... Warm recollections of a singular literary life."
--Kirkus Reviews


Product Details
ISBN: 9781984898432
ISBN-10: 1984898434
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: December 14th, 2021
Pages: 448
Language: English