The University of Wisconsin Press


Literature and Criticism



A World Elsewhere
The Place of Style in American Literature
Richard Poirier



“Richard Poirier brings to this study of exemplary American novelists some finely-honed equipment for textual analysis.”
The New Republic

Richard Poirier’s A World Elsewhere, originally published in 1966 by the Oxford University Press, is a signal book in American literature and literary history. Widely acclaimed upon publication, it has since taken its place among a handful of books considered mandatory reading for all students and scholars in the field. Poirier’s classic work, hailed both for its original thesis and for its stylistic elegance and clarity, is once again made available in this new Wisconsin paperback edition.

“Poirier makes a radical distinction between ‘works that create through language an essentially imaginative environment for the hero and works that mirror an environment already accredited by history and society.’ Although he discusses works of the latter kind for sake of contrast . . . his book principally studies authors who attempt the former. . . . [Poirier’s book] is rich in penetrating analyses and illuminating insights.”—Southwest Review

Richard Poirier (1925–2009) was an American literary critic. He co-founded the Library of America, and served as chairman of its board. He was the Marius Bewley Professor of American and English Literature at Rutgers University and the editor of Raritan, a literary quarterly, and of Partisan Review.

Inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu or (608) 263-0734.






December 1985
LC: 85-040376 PS
272 pp.   5.5 x 8.5  

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Paper $24.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-09934-3
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“Mr. Poirier has written a brilliant book. . . . It is continuously exciting, filled with . . . imaginative analyses of the stylistic problems faced by the seminal American writers . . . [and] acute analyses of the incessant war between the artist and American society.” American Quarterly

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