THE WILLIAM E. MASSEY SR. LECTURES IN AMERICAN STUDIES
Cover: Writing Was Everything, from Harvard University PressCover: Writing Was Everything in PAPERBACK

The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in American Studies 1995

Writing Was Everything

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$31.00 • £26.95 • €28.95

ISBN 9780674962385

Publication Date: 04/01/1999

Academic Trade

Add to Cart

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

For more than sixty years, Alfred Kazin has been one of the most eloquent witnesses to the literary life of the mind in America. Writing Was Everything is a summation of that life, a story of coming of age as a writer and critic that is also a vibrant cultural drama teeming with such characters as Hart Crane and Allen Ginsberg, Simone Weil and Flannery O’Connor, Hannah Arendt and Robert Lowell, Edmund Wilson and George Orwell.

A deft blend of autobiography, history, and criticism that moves from New York in the 1930s to wartime England to the postwar South, Writing Was Everything emerges as a reaffirmation of literature in an age of deconstruction and critical dogma. In his encounters with books, Kazin shows us how great writing matters and how it involves us morally, socially, and personally on the deepest level. Whether reflecting on modernism, southern fiction, or black, Jewish, and New Yorker writing or reliving the work of Richard Wright, Saul Bellow, and John Cheever, he gives a penetrating, moving account of literature observed and lived. In his life as a critic, Kazin personifies the lesson that living and writing are necessarily intimate.

Writing Was Everything encapsulates the lively wit and authority of this timeless critic’s unmistakable voice. It stands as clear testimony to Kazin’s belief that “literature is not theory but, at best, the value we can give to our experience, which in our century has been and remains beyond the imagination of mankind.”

Awards & Accolades

  • A New York Times Book Review Notable Book, 1995
  • Alfred Kazin was Awarded the First Truman Capote Literary Trust Lifetime Achievement Award in Literary Criticism in Memory of Newton Arvin

Share This

Holiday Sale / 30% off sitewide with code HOL22
The Kennedy Withdrawal: Camelot and the American Commitment to Vietnam, by Marc J. Selverstone, from Harvard University Press

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Composite photograph showing (top) entrance to the Prudential Center in Boston and (bottom) an internal construction partition/wall printed with the words 'Opening Day 2023' and other decorative text

A New Chapter for Harvard Book Store

Starting in the summer of 2023, for the first time in almost thirty years, Harvard Book Store will have two locations: the flagship store in Harvard Square, and a large new store in the Prudential Center in Boston. For University Press Week we wanted to show some bookseller love, so we reached out to Rachel Cass, General Manager of the Harvard Book Store, to see what’s planned for their exciting new location