Praise for How to Read Literature Like a Professor
by Thomas C. Foster
“I know of no other book that so vividly conveys what it’s like to study with a great literature professor.
In a work that is both down-to-earth and rich in insight, Thomas Foster goes far toward breaking down
the wall that has long divided the academic and the common reader.”
—-James Shapiro, Columbia University,
author of Shakespeare and the Jews
“By bringing his eminent scholarship to bear in doses measured for the common reader or occasional
student, Professor Foster has done us all a generous turn. The trained eye, the tuned ear, the intellect
possessed of simple ciphers bring the literary arts alive. For those who’ve ever wondered what Dr.
Williams saw in ‘a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water’—here is an essential text.”
—Thomas Lynch, author of The Undertaking
How to Read Literature Like a Professor
A Broad Overview of Literature
- A lively and entertaining guide to making your reading experience more rewarding and fun.
- Focuses on literary basics: major themes and motifs (seasons, quests, food, politics, geography,
weather, vampires, violence, illness, and many more); literary models (Shakespeare’s plays, Greek
mythology, fairy tales, the Bible); and narrative devices (form, irony, plot, and symbol, among others).
- Draws on a huge variety of examples from all genres: novels, short stories, plays, poems, movies,
song lyrics, and cartoons.
- Encourages readers to test their knowledge on the short story “The Garden Party” by Katherine
Mansfield, offering comments and ideas along the way.
Based on Twenty-five Years of Experience and Expertise
- Thomas C. Foster has been teaching students how to read literature for more than twenty-five years.
- How to Read Literature Like a Professor approaches the often intimidating domain of literature in
accessible and non-academic prose. It is not a textbook but an engaging companion for readers to
discover the possibilities of modern and classic literature.