The University of Wisconsin Press

Literature & Criticism / Irish Studies


Joyce's Critics
Transitions in Reading and Culture
Joseph Brooker

Irish Studies in Literature and Culture

Michael Patrick Gillespie, Series Editor

"I have not come across a book as useful and as discerning as this on the present state of Joyce criticism."
—Robert Baker, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Joseph Brooker's synthesis lucidly summarizes more than seventy years of Joyce criticism. This is the first broad study of how James Joyce's work was received in the Anglophone world, accessibly written for both academic and lay readers. Brooker shows how the reading of Joyce's work has moved through different critical paradigms, periods, and places, and how Joyce's writing has given generations of readers a way to discuss the major issues of the modern world.

"Complements existing criticism while extending scholarly knowledge. . . . A very important work."—Michael Patrick Gillespie, coauthor of Recent Criticism of James Joyce's Ulysses

“Even when I disagree with him, Brooker makes me rethink my old conclusions. He has taught me a great deal, and I don’t think there’s a Joyce critic alive who wouldn’t learn much that is valuable from this book. It’s of even greater benefit to . . . younger Joyceans . . . Brooker introduces them to the criticism--perhaps better than anyone else has. Anyone teaching a graduate course in Joyce ought to consider adopting this book; everyone beginning a dissertation on Joyce ought to read it.”—Joseph Kelly, in the James Joyce Literary Supplement

Joyce’s Critics has personality. It reads like a well-written novel of ideas. Its author has a sharp, economical style, a great sense of pacing, an eye for anecdote, much lightly-worn learning, not a little wit, and above all a way with his cast of characters, the critics and schools of critics who populate its pages.”—English Literature in Transition, 1880–1920

“[A] splendid contribution to the study of Joyce’s reception.”—James Joyce Broadsheet

“An extremely valuable contribution to the growing body of Joycean meta-criticism.”—James Joyce Broadsheet

Joseph Brooker teaches English literature at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

the cover of Brooker's book is a photo of a statue of Joyce.

May 2004
LC: 2003022201 PR
296 pp.  6 x 9

Book icon Paper $24.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-19604-2
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"A vibrant guide to the reception of Joyce’s work by many minds and cultures. Joe Brooker sifts the evidence with such clarity that his own study becomes a distinguished addition to the canon of Joyce criticism."
—Declan Kiberd, University College Dublin

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Updated June 18, 2012

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