Cover: Affecting Fictions: Mind, Body, and Emotion in American Literary Realism, from Harvard University PressCover: Affecting Fictions in HARDCOVER

Affecting Fictions

Mind, Body, and Emotion in American Literary Realism

Add to Cart

Product Details


$65.00 • £52.95 • €58.50

ISBN 9780674025127

Publication Date: 06/30/2007


320 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


This is a truly important project of reading realism through somatic experience, including sensation, aesthetics, and physiology. Thrailkill offers bold interpretations of the relations between corporality and realism. Working at the intersections of modernity, genre, and history, Thrailkill challenges us to incorporate “physiological thinking” into our theories of affect and reading realism’s effects on the body. An impressive response to the explosion of work on sentimental and sensational fictions.—Dale Bauer, Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Thrailkill opens up fresh ways of thinking about our whole aesthetic experience—meaning our whole body-and-mind experience—by combining contemporary theories of emotion with surprising readings of literature and philosophy from a century ago. The book excitingly reorients our understanding American literary realism, and it uses this literature to advance our current discussions of the place of affect in writing and reading.—Randall Knoper, author of Acting Naturally: Mark Twain in the Culture of Performance

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, by Anthony Abraham Jack, from Harvard University Press

Book Club Spotlight: The Privileged Poor

As students around the world deliberate their options for further education, only made more challenging in a pandemic, we’re reminded that getting in is only half the battle. In The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, Anthony Abraham Jack asks how—and why—do disadvantaged students struggle at elite colleges? What can schools can do differently if these students are to thrive? As back to school season begins, we spoke to two university book clubs that read and discussed The Privileged Poor this summer.