Simon & Schuster / Literary essay

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Huck Finn's America

by Andrew Levy Simon & Schuster (December 30, 2014)

A provocative, exuberant, and deeply researched investigation into Mark Twain’s writing of America’s favorite icon of childhood, Huckleberry Finn: “A boldly revisionist reading of Twain’s Huckleberry...


Give War and Peace a Chance

by Andrew D. Kaufman Simon & Schuster (May 20, 2014)

“This lively appreciation of one of the most intimidating and massive novels ever written should persuade many hesitant readers to try scaling the heights of War and Peace sooner rather than later” (Publishers...


Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen

by Larry Mcmurtry Simon & Schuster (June 01, 2010)

In a lucid, brilliant work of nonfiction -- as close to an autobiography as his readers are likely to get -- Larry McMurtry has written a family portrait that also serves as a larger portrait of Texas itself,...


The Partly Cloudy Patriot

by Sarah Vowell Simon & Schuster (August 27, 2002)

From public radio This American Life contributor and self-described “history nerd” Sarah Vowell comes a collection of humorous and personal essays investigating American history, pop culture and Buffy the...


Take the Cannoli

by Sarah Vowell Simon & Schuster (December 17, 2013)

A wickedly funny collection of personal essays from popular NPR personality Sarah Vowell.

Hailed by Newsweek as a "cranky stylist with talent to burn," Vowell has an irresistible voice -- caustic and sympathetic,...


Hechinger's Field Guide to Ethnic Stereotypes

by Kevin Hechinger & Curtis Hechinger Simon & Schuster (February 17, 2009)

Can you differentiate between the Amish and the Hasidic Jew?

Do you know the single, shocking difference between the Redneck and the Appalachian? Can you successfully identify -- and avoid -- the Charismatic,...


Great Books

by David Denby Simon & Schuster (June 18, 2013)

THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER

At the age of forty-eight, writer and film critic David Denby returned to Columbia University and re-enrolled in two core courses in Western civilization to confront the literary and philosophical...


Making Love: An Erotic Odyssey

by Richard Rhodes Simon & Schuster (October 09, 2012)

A brilliant and illuminating exploration of one man's sexual odyssey, written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb and A Hole in the World.

Making Love marks the first time a...


Equipment for Living

by Michael Robbins Simon & Schuster (July 18, 2017)

“Funny and smart” (The New Yorker) criticism of why we turn to art—specifically to poetry and popular music—and how it serves as an essential tool to understanding life.

How can art help us make sense—or...


Wild Things

by Bruce Handy Simon & Schuster (August 15, 2017)

An irresistible, nostalgic, insightful—and “consistently intelligent and funny” (The New York Times Book Review)—ramble through classic children’s literature from Vanity Fair contributing editor (and...


The Angry Island

by A.A. Gill Simon & Schuster (June 12, 2007)

Think of England, and anger hardly springs to mind as its primary national characteristic. Yet in The Angry Island, A. A. Gill argues that, in fact, it is plain old fury that is the wellspring for England's...


Rationale of the Dirty Joke

by G. Legman Simon & Schuster (January 03, 2006)

Why do people tell dirty jokes?

And what is it about a joke's dirtiness that makes it funny?

G. Legman was perhaps the foremost scholar of the dirty joke, and as legions of humor writers and comedians know,...


Life's Work

by Lisa Belkin Simon & Schuster (May 30, 2002)

Life's Work is the story of one woman's search for balance -- and the realization that it can't be found. It is the story of modern motherhood, where true happiness is often reached when you finally give up...


The Agenda

by Bob Woodward Simon & Schuster (November 01, 2005)

The Agenda is a day-by-day, often minute-by-minute account of Bill Clinton's White House. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, confidential internal memos, diaries, and meeting notes, Woodward shows how Clinton...


Assassination Vacation

by Sarah Vowell Simon & Schuster (April 04, 2005)

New York Times bestselling author of The Word Shipmates and contributor to NPR’s “This American Life” Sarah Vowell embarks on a road trip to sites of political violence, from Washington DC to Alaska, to...


In a Narrow Grave

by Larry Mcmurtry Simon & Schuster (June 01, 2010)

Writing with characteristic grace and wit, Larry McMurtry tackles the full spectrum of his favorite themes -- from sex, literature, and cowboys to rodeos, small-town folk, and big-city slickers.

First published...


The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time

by Will Durant Simon & Schuster (October 29, 2002)

A wise and witty compendium of the greatest thoughts, greatest minds, and greatest books of all time -- listed in accessible and succinct form -- by one of the world's greatest scholars.

From the "Hundred Best...


The Book of Virtues

by William J. Bennett Simon & Schuster (May 11, 2010)

Responsibility. Courage. Compassion. Honesty. Friendship. Persistence. Faith. Everyone recognizes these traits as essentials of good character. In order for our children to develop such traits, we have to offer...


The Same River Twice

by Chris Offutt Simon & Schuster (February 16, 2016)

From the critically acclaimed author of the novel The Good Brother and memoir My Father the Pornographer, Same River Twice is the second volume from an American literary star. “If you haven't read Chris Offutt,...


Film Flam

by Larry Mcmurtry Simon & Schuster (June 01, 2010)

A noted screenwriter himself, Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry knows his Hollywood. In Film Flam, he takes a funny, original, and penetrating look at the movie industry and gives us the truth about the moguls,...


Selected Writings

by Ralph Waldo Emerson Simon & Schuster (May 24, 2016)

An essential collection of the most noteworthy essays and poems of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a leading architect of the Transcendentalist movement, which championed self-reliance, individualism, and personal potential....


The Whole Harmonium

by Paul Mariani Simon & Schuster (April 05, 2016)

An “incandescent….redefining biography of a major poet whose reputation continues to ascend” (Booklist, starred review)—Wallace Stevens, perhaps the most important American poet of the twentieth century....


The Year of Lear

by James Shapiro Simon & Schuster (October 06, 2015)

Preeminent Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro shows how the tumultuous events in 1606 influenced three of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies written that year—King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra. “...


Still Wild

by Larry Mcmurtry Simon & Schuster (April 24, 2012)

The Real Western Canon

Larry McMurtry, the preeminent chronicler of the American West, celebrates the best of contemporary Western short fiction, introducing a stellar collection of twenty stories that represent,...


B & Me

by J.C. Hallman Simon & Schuster (March 10, 2015)

“A love letter to the book as a physical object, a source of intellectual ardor, and a form of emotional salvation” (Salon)—and a nod to U and I, Nicholson Baker’s classic memoir about John Updike—from...