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Frank Lentricchia: Essays on His Works
Guernica Editions, Spring 2011
174 pages
Trade Paperback
ISBN13: 9781550713121
ISBN10: 1550713124
$15.00 Canada, $15.00 US

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Frank Lentricchia changed his literary focus from criticism and theory to fiction back in the 1980s, and since then he has produced six novels of great aesthetic range and interest. This collection of essays and reviews concerns that fictional output from Johnny Critelli to The Book of Ruth. Lentricchia has explored the complexities of ethnic and artistic identity, and he has done so with great anguish and style. His fiction deserves the attention given his scholarly work. This collection introduces and celebrates his second career with essays by Philip Tinari, Kit Wallingford, Vince Passaro, Jody McAuliffe, Fred L. Gardaphe, Thomas Hove, Jennifer Wellman, Nicholas Birns, Andrew DuBois, Daniel O'Hara, and Gina Masucci-MacKenzie. The introduction, interview, bibliography and biography are by the editor. Frank Lentricchia was born to working-class parents in Utica, New York, on May 23rd in 1940. He earned his M.A. from Duke University in 1963, and his Ph.D. in 1966. His first two books were about modern poetry, and he then began to write more about literary theory, publishing his ground-breaking books in the early 1980's. Lentricchia served as the editor of two book series, one for The University of Chicago Press (The Wellek Library Lectures), and one for the University of Wisconsin Press (The Wisconsin Project on American Writing.) During these years, he began to drift from his previous work in theory. Lentricchia's first non-scholarly book, The Edge of Night, was published in 1994, and he soon followed with his much-noted essay in Lingua Franca, "Last Will and Testament of an Ex-Literary Critic," his farewell to certain types of academic criticism and theory. Though he did not completely abandon literary comment, Lentricchia from then on devoted himself to fiction.
It's not often that an established and esteemed academic reinvents himself as Lentricchia has. His fictional voice is fresh and sharp, not at all dulled by the years of critical writing. Let this volume serve as both introduction and tribute.

Books by Thomas DePietro

Frank Lentricchia: Essays on His Works