A new, far-ranging collection of essays from "the strongest…literary critic we have." (New York Review of Books)
Following The Broken Estate, The Irresponsible Self, and How Fiction Works—books that established James Wood as the leading critic of his generation—The Fun Stuff confirms Wood's preeminence, not only as a discerning judge but also as an appreciator of the contemporary novel. In 25 passionate, sparkling dispatches—which range over such crucial writers as Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy, Edmund Wilson, and Mikhail Lermontov—Wood offers a panoramic look at the modern novel. He effortlessly connects his encyclopedic, passionate understanding of the literary canon with an equally in-depth analysis of the most important authors writing today, including Cormac McCarthy, Lydia Davis, and Aleksandar Hemon.
Included in The Fun Stuff is the title essay on Keith Moon and the lost joys of drumming—which was a finalist for last year's National Magazine Awards—as well as Wood's essay on George Orwell, which Christopher Hitchens selected for The Best American Essays 2010. The Fun Stuff is indispensable listening for anyone who cares about contemporary literature.
James Wood is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a visiting lecturer in English and American literature at Harvard. He is the author of How Fiction Works, several essay collections, and the novel The Book against God.
"Proof that Wood is one of the best readers writing today. Devouring these pieces back to back feels like having a long conversation about books with your most erudite, articulate, and excitable friend." (Publishers Weekly)
"A pleasure…. Wood's very title reminds us what literature is really about: fun…. Get ready for some bracing delights." (Library Journal)
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