Inside the Critics' Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times


Product Details

Princeton University Press
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.3 X 1.0 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Phillipa K. Chong is assistant professor of sociology at McMaster University. Twitter @ChongSOC


[An] exploration of how books get reviewed, what the consequences are, and whether any of it means anything at all. . . . Chong works diligently through the review process. . . . Useful reading for book critics and journalists who cover books.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Phillipa Chong's precise, insightful and fascinating book focuses on journalist critics of fiction who write with an eye to newsworthiness as well as literary value, rather than academics.---Robert Eaglestone, Times Higher Education-- "Kirkus Reviews"
The country's newspaper book review pages evaporated in the 21st century. . . . Those of us who remain occupy one of the most tenuous positions in an extraordinarily tenuous industry. That seems to be what attracted the attention of Phillipa K. Chong, a sociology professor at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. . . . Chong offers rare insight.---Washington Post Book Club, Ron Charles-- "Kirkus Reviews"
I perceived a book review -- still perceive it, most days -- as an avocation that's as much private as it is public. . . . This public-private feeling is a common one, according to Phillipa K. Chong's academic but engaging analysis of book reviewing, Inside the Critics' Circle. An assistant professor of sociology at McMaster University, Chong endeavored to put some scientific rigor around the motivations of fiction reviewers by interviewing 40 of them, a random sample drawn from more than 1,000 bylines that had appeared in one of three major (but unnamed) national newspapers. What she uncovered is a lack of sense of purpose that's distinct from criticism in other disciplines.---Mark Athitakis, On the Seawall-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Inside the Critics' Circle is an interesting inside look at the current state of (fiction) book reviewing in the United States, specifically as perceived by (presumably) significant actors in the field.---M.A. Orthofer, The Complete Review-- "Kirkus Reviews"
[A] deep dive into the inner workings of journalistic book criticism in 'the Anglophone publishing field, ' and a must-read for critics and editors alike. . . . Impressively, Chong has managed in this study through substantial empirical data to draw a clear, detailed, and nuanced picture of a rather tricky profession.---Hamilton Review of Books, Dana Hansen-- "Kirkus Reviews"