Reading Literature Today is a path-breaking intervention in current debates on reading and literature. This is a book of criticism that attempts to rescue literature from both the materialism of the market and the convoluted dryness of academia.
The two complementary essays—one on literature and the other on reading—focus largely on texts in English and French, but also refer to other literatures. The authors propose a way of reading literature that not only synthesises some earlier tendencies and puts them in context, but also propounds a revolutionary understanding of the nature of literature and reading.
The writers taken up for discussion include William Shakespeare, Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Marcel Proust, Charles Baudelaire, Franz Kafka, William Burroughs, Dylan Thomas, Attia Hosain, Albert Wendt, Zadie Smith, Philip Hensher, Mohsin Hamid and many others.
Written in the great and dying tradition of literary essays on literature and criticism, this is a bold and ground-breaking book by two exciting writers who believe in reading literature.