The Lives of the Novel: A History


Product Details

Princeton University Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 1.2 X 9.2 inches | 1.4 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Thomas G. Pavel is Gordon J. Laing Distinguished Service Professor of French, Comparative Literature, and Social Thought at the University of Chicago. His books include Fictional Worlds and The Spell of Language.


Pavel's study raises questions that can enrich readings of a wide range of fiction: What does it mean to live a virtuous life? How can humans achieve justice? What is an individual's responsibility to the community? To what extent is self-knowledge possible? These enduring questions infuse this erudite, elegantly written history with passion and urgency.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Winner of the 2013 PROSE Award in Literature, Association of American Publishers-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Winner of the 2015 Barbara Perkins and George Perkins Prize, The International Society for the Study of Narrative-- "Kirkus Reviews"
[A]n immense journey of erudition that reads with the ease of fiction.---Nicolas Weill, Le Monde-- "Kirkus Reviews"
[D]eft, incisive. . . . Thomas Pavel is a superb guide to the range and enduring power of the realist mode.---Thomas Keymer, Times Literary Supplement-- "Kirkus Reviews"
I learned more from the fruits of [the] erudition and study in The Lives of the Novel than I can express.---Paul Kottman, Los Angeles Review of Books-- "Kirkus Reviews"
[An] eloquent and generous book.---Scott Black, Eighteenth Century Life-- "Kirkus Reviews"
The Lives of the Novel, first published in French as La PensΓ©e du Roman, is a superb work that deserves to be very widely read by academics, students and anyone interested in the novel. . . . [A]stounding and stimulating. . . . [A] generous-hearted work. . . . Intelligent, insightful and astonishingly well-informed, The Lives of the Novel is a major intervention and I imagine that it will become the standard work in this field, and remain so for years to come. Best of all, it was a pleasure to review because Pavel's love of literature just beams out of each page: reading this book is like the joy of meeting a stranger in a crowd at a pop festival and enthusing together about bands you both love.---Robert Eaglestone, Times Higher Education-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Thomas G. Pavel unravels what a novel is in his thoroughly researched The Lives of the Novel: A History. This academic work is fascinating as it delves into the intricacies of the novel and its importance. . . . If you have ever wanted to know how the novel came to be what it is, Pavel is certainly an able guide.---Elizabeth Humphrey, San Francisco Book Review-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Pavel has written the most interesting and subtle one-volume history of the novel currently available.---James Wood, New Yorker-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Pavel's stunning breadth of reading, combined with reasonable exposition, provides an ample window on one fascinating feature of the tangled bank origins and equally messy performance of the ever-evolving genre we call the novel.---William J. Scheick, English Literature in Transition-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Shortlisted for the 2014 Christian Gauss Award, Phi Beta Kappa Society-- "Kirkus Reviews"