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  • Published: 5 November 2019
  • ISBN: 9781529111910
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 528
  • RRP: $30.00

Serious Noticing

Selected Essays




The selected essays of James Wood - our greatest living literary critic and author of How Fiction Works

The selected essays of James Wood - our greatest living literary critic and author of How Fiction Works'James Wood is a close reader of genius... By turns luscious and muscular, committed and disdaining, passionate and minutely considered' John Banville

James Wood is one of the leading critics of the age, and here, for the first time, are his selected essays. From the career-defining 'Hysterical Realism' to his more personal reflections on family, religion and sensibility, Serious Noticing offers a comprehensive overview of his writing over the last twenty years. These essays offer more than a viewpoint - they show how to bring the eye of critical reading to life as a whole.

'James Wood is one of literature’s true lovers, and his deeply felt, contentious essays are thrilling in their reach and moral seriousness' Susan Sontag

  • Published: 5 November 2019
  • ISBN: 9781529111910
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 528
  • RRP: $30.00

About the author

James Wood

James Wood has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 2007. In 2009, he won the National Magazine Award for reviews and criticism. He was the chief literary critic at the Guardian from 1992 to 1995, and a book critic at the New Republic from 1995 to 2007. He has published a number of books with Cape, including How Fiction Works, which has been translated into thirteen languages.

Also by James Wood

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Praise for Serious Noticing

In the unspooling sentences and paragraphs of the many fine and often seriously dandy essays that follow in this collection . . . Wood shows himself a maestro of tone and inflection. His sustained close attention as he interrogates the writers he loves is genuinely something to behold

Tim Adams, Observer

The two voices mingling in this collection give a beautiful, moving sense of the stakes of criticism as Wood has practiced it, vigorously, without interruption for 30 years... No modern critic has exerted comparable influence in how we read . . . Wood writes as if enmeshed in the text itself; registering shifts in point of view and perspective with seismographic precision

Parul Sehgal, The New York Times Book Review

Packed with…insight… [and a] concern for the messiness of emotional truth… Over the years, as this volume demonstrates, Wood has learned not only to dissect that habit of mind, but also to practise it

Tim Adams, Observer

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