This classic guide offers a thorough and accessible introduction to contemporary critical theory, providing in-depth coverage of the most common approaches to literary analysis today: feminism; psychoanalysis; Marxism; reader-response theory; New Criticism; structuralism and semiotics; deconstruction; new historical and cultural criticism; lesbian, gay, and queer theory; African American criticism; and postcolonial criticism. Chapters offer: an extended explanation of each theory, using examples from everyday life, popular culture, and literary texts; a list of specific questions critics ask about literary texts; an interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby through the lens of each theory; a list of questions for further practice to guide readers in applying each theory to different literary works; a bibliography of primary and secondary works for further reading. Both engaging and rigorous, this is a "how-to" book for undergraduate and graduate students new to critical theory and for college professors who want to broaden their repertoire of critical approaches to literature.
New to this edition: A major expansion of the chapter on postcolonial criticism; An update of theoretical vocabulary throughout; Numerous substantial expansions of examples and clarifications throughout; An update of each chapter's bibliographies for further reading.
Lois Tyson is Professor Emerita of English at Grand Valley State University, USA. She is author of Critcal Theory Today, 3rd edition, Using Critical Theory, 2nd edition and Psychological Politics of the American Dream: The Commodification of Subjectivity in Twentieth-Century American Literature.