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Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, Interactive Edition (11th Edition) Hardcover – Jul 7 2009

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Hardcover, Jul 7 2009
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 2256 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 11 edition (July 7 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0205686117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0205686117
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 5.2 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,733,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

X. J. Kennedy , after graduation from Seton Hall and Columbia, became a journalist second class in the Navy (“Actually, I was pretty eighth class”). His poems, some published in the New Yorker, were first collected in Nude Descending a Staircase (1961). Since then he has written six more collections, several widely adopted literature and writing textbooks, and seventeen books for children, including two novels. He has taught at Michigan, North Carolina (Greensboro), California (Irvine), Wellesley, Tufts, and Leeds. Cited in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations and reprinted in some 200 anthologies, his verse has brought him a Guggenheim fellowship, a Lamont Award, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, an Aiken-Taylor prize, the Robert Frost Medal of the Poetry Society of America, and the Award for Poetry for Children from the National Council of Teachers of English. He now lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he and his wife Dorothy have collaborated on four books and five children.


Dana Gioia is a poet, critic, and teacher. Born in Los Angeles of Italian and Mexican ancestry, he attended Stanford and Harvard before taking a detour into business. ("Not many poets have a Stanford M.B.A., thank goodness!") After years of writing and reading late in the evenings after work, he quit a vice presidency to write and teach. He has published three collections of poetry, Daily Horoscope (1986), The Gods of Winter (1991), and Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award; and three critical volumes, including Can Poetry Matter? (1992), an influential study of poetry's place in contemporary America. Gioia has taught at Johns Hopkins, Sarah Lawrence, Wesleyan (Connecticut), Mercer, and Colorado College.


He is also the co-founder of the summer poetry conference at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. From 2003-2009 he served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. At the NEA he created the largest literary programs in federal history, including Shakespeare in American Communities and Poetry Out Loud, the national high school poetry recitation contest. He also led the campaign to restore active and engaged literary reading by creating The Big Read, which has helped reverse a quarter century of decline in U.S. reading. He currently divides his time between Washington, D.C. and Santa Rosa, California, living with his wife Mary, their two sons, and two uncontrollable cats.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9b5cae7c) out of 5 stars 108 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b2e0984) out of 5 stars What has a list price of $93 and comes complete with poor materials? This book. Jan. 9 2013
By Stephen Lerch - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To review the content, I would actually give this book 5 stars. The problem is, the Amazon star rating doesn't give one the ability to rate different aspects, just the entire package. And as an entire package, this release is no better than 3 stars.

In terms of the content, they've pulled together a ton of different literature, written about the history and other aspects of the literature and included critical writing of some of the literature as well. This really breaks down the process of critiquing literature and everything is well written and well compiled. While most will purchase this for college courses, I'm finding I actually don't mind reading the stories on their own... though you definitely wouldn't buy this just for that!

Where the book falls apart, almost literally, is in workmanship and materials. The paper stock used is EXTREMELY thin paper. So thin, in fact, that text from the next page bleeds into it, making some of the pages difficult to read. I would compare it to toilet paper, but that's probably grading the paper too highly. At best it feels a little heavier than tracing paper. No, really.

I cannot fathom how, with good conscience, a publishing house could release such a shoddy piece of work and charge $90 MSRP for it. The only thing I can imagine is that they have decided to milk as much money as possible from "text books." We know college books are overpriced, but must they also be the cheapest in terms of workmanship? The answer is, no, as I've paid less for St. Martin's Guide to Writing, also softcover version, and the paper and quality is much higher than this release, with a similar page count.

As another reviewer commented, if you want to trade this book in, you will need to treat it with respect and as if it is solid gold. Don't put it in your backpack or in your school bag, as you will almost certainly damage it. Carry it with care.

Absolutely ridiculous that a publisher would put this out in this way.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b2dcd5c) out of 5 stars A Great Textbook Revisited. July 5 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was my favorite textbook in college, thirty five years ago. It is a good reference book and is great reading on its own. I lost my original copy awhile ago and miss it. So, at sixty years old I find myself ordering a textbook. I'm sure I can still glean much knowledge and entertainment from its many pages.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b2dc654) out of 5 stars Bought it for class but ended up enjoying it. May 14 2012
By Epiales "Your Worst Nightmare" - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I rarely ever like any book the school require me to buy, but this book is an exception. The only problem I have with this book is the price. $109 slash down to $89 is still a little steep for students. Textbook should not be more than $50 bucks, said the poor college student.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b2e0ad4) out of 5 stars Much more than I thought... Feb. 27 2013
By Andy - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a lot of good information in this book. I didn't realize that it was over 1,000 pages (the pages are like tissue paper). It also has a wealth of short stories, poems, and short plays which makes its usefulness transcend its purpose as a textbook.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b2dc534) out of 5 stars Solid text. Jan. 20 2012
By TDL - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a solid textbook. I wouldn't write home about it, but in terms of teaching literature, it gets the job done. Most of the words are essentially a compilation of relevant literature (book 1 has fictional short stories, book 2 has poems, book 3 has plays; I never used book 4); I was able to get a lot out of the works selected. The remaining bits of the book are Kennedy and Gioia writing about some topic in literature which these works exemplify; these sections were generally clear and concise. The 4 stars represents a book that does everything it should, but nothing more.