Trinity University Press

Books about Literature

Chinese Writers on Writing

Edward Hirsch (editor), Arthur Sze (editor)

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With more than half the works appearing in English for the first time, Chinese Writers on Writing features authors such as Mo Yan, whose book Red Sorghum was made into an award-winning movie by the same name, Lu Xun, known as the Chinese George Orwell, and Gao Xingjian, the recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature. This is the first collection to bring together material by writers reflecting on their work,...

A seminal work that helps increase a critical understanding of Chinese writing and literary aesthetics free from official ideology, Chinese Writers on Writing invigorates... — Greta Aart

A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption

Matt Donovan (author)

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The title cloud of Matt Donovan’s A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape refers to the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD that buried the city of Pompeii under twenty feet of ash. It’s no surprise, then, that Donovan found the site of the sacred ruins an inspiration, using their legacy to form the beginning of this extraordinary nonfiction debut. Donovan pursues the image of the cloud throughout these fourteen...

Matt Donovan’s essays are haunted, searching, lyrical, and above all dogged in their ability to conjoin personal history with public history, whether he is investigating... — David Wojahn, author of World Tree

Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy

Simmons Buntin (editor), Elizabeth Dodd (editor), Derek Sheffield (editor)

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ORDER HERE. America is at a crossroads. Conflicting political and social perspectives reflect a need to collectively define our moral imperatives, clarify cultural values, and inspire meaningful change. In that patriotic spirit, hundreds of writers, artists, scientists, and political and community leaders have come together since the 2016 presidential election to offer their impassioned letters to America, in a...

These letters come from a deep, real love of this place, and they imagine willing, receptive readers on the other end. We need a series of miracles looking forward, and... — Bill McKibben

Dispatches from the End of Ice: Essays

Beth Peterson (author)

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The future of the world’s ice is at a critical juncture marked by international debate about climate change and almost daily reports about glaciers and ice shelves breaking, oceans rising, and temperatures spiking across the globe. These changing landscapes are wrought with mystery, and for Beth Peterson it became personal. A few months after Peterson moved to a tiny village on the edge of Europe’s largest glacier,...

Following the trails Peterson maps, you don’t so much find your way to and from the northern latitudes as get lost in them along with her—lost in a way that makes you look...Donovan Hohn, author of Moby Duck

Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford

Kim Stafford (author)

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A prolific writer, a famous pacifist, a respected teacher, and a literary mentor to many, William Stafford is one of the great American poets of the twentieth century. His first major collection, Traveling Through the Dark, won the National Book Award. He published more than sixty-five volumes of poetry and prose and was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress, a position now known as poet laureate. Before his...

A vivid, affectionate memoir.Library Journal

Hebrew Writers on Writing

Peter Cole (editor), Edward Hirsch (editor)

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Hebrew Writers on Writing begins in early twentieth-century Warsaw, wanders through the formative years of Hebrew modernism in Europe and Palestine, and comes to engage the charged complexity of contemporary Israel. In the process, it explores, as no English volume has before, the shifting cultural and political landscape out of which the literature emerges and provides readers with an intimate vision of a startlingly...

Insane Devotion: On the Writing of Gerald Stern

Mihaela Moscaliuc (editor)

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Gerald Stern has been a significant presence in the literary constellation of his generation and an impassioned and idiosyncratic voice in twentieth- and twenty-first-century American poetry. In this retrospective of Stern's career, fourteen writers, critics, and poets examine the themes, stylistic traits, and craft of a poet who has shaped and inspired American verse for generations. The essays and interviews that...

Gerald Stern is one of those writers whose style insinuates itself into your consciousness like a catchy tune, so that you find your thoughts echoing its rhythms, bopping...Philadelphia Inquirer

Irish Writers on Writing

Eavan Boland (editor), Edward Hirsch (editor)

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What does it mean to be a writer in the context of Ireland’s centuries of uncertainty and upheaval? How does an Irish writer define Irish writing? The writers in Irish Writers on Writing, who range from early legends to modern masters, address these questions through their sources: the land, the Church, the past, changing politics, and literary styles. Though the references are multiple, the source is single—the Irish...

Literary Charleston and the Lowcountry

Curtis Worthington (editor), Louis D. Rubin, Jr. (foreword)

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The different faces of Charleston, South Carolina, have created curiosity and wonder among writers for centuries. In Literary Charleston and the Lowcountry, Curtis Worthington compiles this intriguing and surprising collection of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry selections by thirty-four local and internationally acclaimed authors. It provides a rich tapestry of one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide....

Worthington has compiled an astonishing number and kind of writings about our romantic, mysterious and much-loved city.Charleston Today

Literary Nashville

Patrick Allen (editor), Madison Jones (foreword)

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From honky tonk to high art, from Printer’s Alley to the Parthenon, Nashville is a writer’s town.There are many accents in Nashville, from the twang of country music and rockabilly to the well-bred tones of Belle Meade society. From Davy Crockett tales and the Agrarians to the BillBoard Top 100 and Goo-Goo Clusters, Nashville is known around the world. Yet the city’s true identity is best realized through its fiction,...

Literary Savannah

Patrick Allen (editor)

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The statues of Savannah’s Monument Square are silent. The status of the solemn girl in Bonaventure Cemetery—made famous in John Berendt’s now legendary book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil—cannot speak. Only Savannah’s literary monuments can give voice to the rich and diverse history of one of America’s greatest and most visited cities. Many have written about Savannah, but few have captured the true spirit...

Literary Washington, D.C.

Patrick Allen (editor), Alan Cheuse (foreword)

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The public face of Washington—the gridiron of L’Enfant’s avenues, the buttoned-down demeanor of Sloan Wilson’s archetypal “Man in the Grey Flannel Suit,” the monumental buildings of the Triangle—rarely gives up the secrets of this city’s rich life. But beneath the surface there are countless stories to be told. From the early swamp days to the Civil War, the Gilded Age to the New Deal and McCarthy eras, as the center...

Literary Washington, D.C. gathers the writings of 35 local and internationally renowned authors—from Emily Dickinson to Gore Vidal—on topics as divergent as the comings...National Geographic Traveler

Mexican Writers on Writing

Margaret Sayers Peden (editor)

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The pieces collected in Mexican Writers on Writing present a cross section of Mexican authors’ thoughts on writing, from Carlos Fuentes’s instructional Decalogue, to Bernardo de Balbuena’s flowery dissertation on the beauty of poetry, to Octavio Paz’s analysis of the essence of translation. From the time of the chronicles of the conquistadors to the contemporary movement Crack, these writers reveal ever-changing views...

Nineteenth-Century American Writers on Writing

Edward Hirsch (editor), Brenda Wineapple (editor)

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Nineteenth-Century American Writers on Writing features essays, letters, poems, prose, and excerpts of interviews by fifty-seven writers of the century, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Fanny Fern, Ulysses S. Grant, William James, and Frances Harper. Each of these writers confronted what it meant for a literature to be defined as “American” during a century rocked by the industrial...

A strong pick for any literary history collection with a focus on American literature. — Midwest Book Review

The Osage Orange Tree

William Stafford (author), Naomi Shihab Nye (afterword), Dennis Cunningham (illustrations)

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The Osage Orange Tree, a never-before-published story by beloved poet William Stafford, is about young love complicated by misunderstanding and the insecurity of adolescence, set against the backdrop of poverty brought on by the Great Depression.  The narrator recalls a girl he once knew. He and Evangeline, both shy, never find the courage to speak to each other in high school. Every evening, however, Evangeline...

This shy paperboy meets a girl who wears a faded blue dress, and they strike up a tentative friendship that lasts through the school year. There's a twist, O. Henry on the...The Portland Oregonian

Polish Writers on Writing

Edward Hirsch (editor), Adam Zagajewski (editor)

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Polish Writers on Writing captures the brilliance and originality of a literature rightly considered one of the most important and influential of our time. These writers are branded by the political realities of their country—creating literature out of the brutality of the Second World War, under the inhibiting and numbing Communist reign, and finally within a free society, but one burdened by its history. No common...

Romanian Writers on Writing

Edward Hirsch (editor), Norman Manea (editor)

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Vanity doubled by vitality, vulnerability mixed in with force, and the fear of dissolution intimately linked with the desperate pride of defeating historical time confer upon Romanian literature a special tension, born from wandering and threat. The eighty-one writers gathered in Romanian Writers on Writing explore this unsettling tension and exemplify the powerful, polyphonic voice of their country’s complex...

A brilliant publishing enterprise. One of the best elements in American culture is a genuine, welcoming interest in writing from other languages. Beginning with essential...Robert Pinsky

Stealing History

Gerald Stern (author)

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In eighty-four short, intermingling essays, Gerald Stern moves nimbly between the past and the present, the personal and the philosophical. Creating the immediacy of dailiness, he writes about what he’s reading at the moment, be it Spinoza or John Cage, Maimonides or Lucille Clifton, and then seamlessly turns to memories of his student years in Europe on the G.I. Bill, or early family life in Pittsburgh, or his...

Gerald Stern is one of those writers whose style insinuates itself into your consciousness like a catchy tune, so that you find your thoughts echoing its rhythms, bopping...Philadelphia Inquirer

Words without Walls: Writers on Addiction, Violence, and Incarceration

Sarah Shotland (editor), Sheryl St. Germain (editor)

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Writing workshops in prisons and rehabilitation centers have proven time and again to be transformative and empowering for people in need. Halfway houses, hospitals, and shelters are all fertile ground for healing through the imagination and can often mean the difference for inmates and patients between just simply surviving and truly thriving. It is in these settings that teachers and their students need reading that...

Sit down, turn off the phone, and prepare for a stunning, if difficult, read. . . Reading this book is to read the most intimate, often horrifying, stories that humans can...Publishers Weekly