Letter from the Editors:
Four English professors, some friends, some strangers, decide to read Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet together. Their subsequent exchange of letters and essays about the experience of reading the novels resulted in The Ferrante Letters. This book of collective criticism by Sarah Chihaya, Merve Emre, Katherine Hill, and Jill Richards is just one of the many books we are excited to share with you, books that examine and reflect the possibilities of literature and criticism to shape community and understanding.
As The Ferrante Letters argues for a method of collective criticism, Beth Blum’s The Self-Help Compulsion examines why people read through a history of the surprising relationship between commercial advice and fiction. Meanwhile, in Inventing Tomorrow, Sarah Cole provides a major reassessment of H. G. Wells to argue for his work as an important and timely model for literature’s responsibility for imagining a better global future. Looking to the past, Jean-Christophe Cloutier’s Shadow Archives shows how the archives of writers such as Claude McKay, Richard Wright, Ann Petry, and Ralph Ellison are crucial to understanding twentieth-century African American literature.
We continue to publish books that mine the intersection of literature and critical theory, including Stathis Gourgouris’s The Perils of the One; Black Utopia, by Alex Zamalin; and Arts of Address: Being Alive to Language and the World, by Monique Roelofs. We are also proud to announce a new, combined edition of Theodor Adorno’s Notes to Literature. The catalog also includes Thom van Dooren’s The Wake of Crows, an exciting new book in the environmental humanities that imagines and puts into practice a multispecies ethics.
Columbia University Press’s longstanding commitment to publishing innovative scholarship in East Asian literature is exemplified by a slew of important new books, including The Typographic Imagination, by Nathan Shockey; Chinese Grammatology, by Yurou Zhong; and Franz Prichard’s Residual Futures. These critical works are complemented by new offerings of literature in translation from the East Asian languages as well as our critically acclaimed books in the Russian Library.
There are many other exciting new books in this catalog. We hope you share our enthusiasm and thank you for your support and interest. Please let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to future conversations.
Philip Leventhal, senior editor for literary and film studies
Christine Dunbar, editor for Asian humanities and literature in translation
Wendy Lochner, publisher for philosophy and religion