Books by Christopher Benfey

Released: March 19, 2012

"Lively, intelligent and interesting—a look inside not just a single family, but also an entire artistic tradition now largely forgotten."
From Benfey (English/Mount Holyoke Coll.; A Summer of Hummingbirds: Love, Art, and Scandal in the Intersecting Worlds of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Martin Johnson Heade, 2008, etc.), a lyrical but unsentimental family memoir, taking in art, memory and time. Read full book review >
Released: April 21, 2008

"A handsomely illustrated volume that reflects Benfey's depth of reading and passionate interests, though the connections he makes are occasionally strained."
Ambitious, eccentric synthesis of late 19th-century artistic currents shows a static America progressing after the Civil War into a period of movement and romance. Read full book review >
Released: May 13, 2003

"A sweeping cacophony of about a half-dozen condensed books."
The author of Degas in New Orleans (1997) attempts to define the nexus that arose between the US and Japan in the late 19th century by examining its effect on key cultural and social arbiters of the day. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 12, 1997

"Ambitious, perhaps, but Benfey's wide net nevertheless allows his primary subject to slip away, lost in a fog of lit-crit theory and psychobabble. (illustrations, not seen)"
This lifeless account of Edgar Degas's 1872 visit to New Orleans unsuccessfully tries to link his artistic breakthrough with the city's Reconstruction-era social turmoil. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"A more coherent story may not be possible. (Twenty-six illustrations—not seen.)"
Crane's ``double life,'' says Benfey (Emily Dickinson, 1986), was comprised of the one he projected in his fiction and the actual life that was influenced by it. Read full book review >