Books by James Wood

UPSTATE by James Wood
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 5, 2018

"A likable novel in many ways but short on the revelatory heft of serious fiction."
An understated novel by the eminent literary critic in which a father confronts problems in the lives of his adult daughters during a trip to Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. Read full book review >
THE NEAREST THING TO LIFE by James Wood
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 28, 2015

"Deeply thoughtful essays on literature's gifts and consolations."
The New Yorker critic celebrates the richness of literature in his own life. Read full book review >
HOW FICTION WORKS by James Wood
Released: Aug. 1, 2008

"Highly stimulating stuff—if it doesn't make you hug your bookcase gratefully, you're probably an incorrigible 'formalist-cum-structuralist.'"
New Yorker staff writer Wood (Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel, 2004, etc.) channels E.M. Forster's classic Aspects of the Novel in a book-length analysis of the techniques that make fiction "both artifice and verisimilitude." Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: June 1, 2004

"A miscellany, then—and an unusually rich and satisfying one."
A theory of distinctively "modern" comedy is and isn't consistently addressed in this provocative gathering of 21 recent (1999-2003) reviews by the stylish critic (The Broken Estate, 1999, etc.) and novelist (The Book Against God, 2003, etc.). Read full book review >
THE BOOK AGAINST GOD by James Wood
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2003

"Not really successful as a novel, but literate, provocative, and at times quite surprisingly moving."
An intellectual's revolt against the faith of his father becomes a disabling shaping force in this talky if intriguing first novel. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1999

"Near-evangelical about narrative, Wood's literary appraisals have the thoroughness of biblical exegesis, whether on the novels of Knut Hamsun or Thomas Mann."
Provocative, sometimes sermonizing literary criticism, from a writer ready to take on Sir Thomas More, Philip Roth, George Steiner, Iris Murdoch, and others. Read full book review >