Routledge Companion Reviewed by Los Angeles Review of Books
Elmira, NY (09/10/2019) — The Los Angeles Review of Books recently published a long review of The Routledge Companion to Literature and Economics, a collection of essays co-edited by Elmira College Assistant Professor of American Literature & Mark Twain Studies, Dr. Matt Seybold, and Whittier College Assistant Professor of English, Michelle Chihara.
The Routledge Companion is a collection of 38 essays which, according to the publisher, "is the first authoritative guide tying together the seemingly disparate areas of literature and economics" and which "offers both an introduction and a springboard to this sometimes complex but highly relevant field." LARB's reviewer, John Macintosh of the University of Maryland, agrees that "econo-literary criticism is one of the most exciting fields in literary studies, and its value, as this collection demonstrates, ought to transcend the discipline. This is important work, full stop."
Macintosh engages with many of the essays in the collection, including those by Chihara and Seybold, and speculates as to how they complement other works in the field. While acknowledging that Seybold and Chihara are highly critical of economic orthodoxy, going so far as to say "Economists are routinely called upon to rationalize limitations of access to education, healthcare, and legal protection which disproportionately disadvantage minorities and enable harmful upward redistributions of wealth." Seybold says, "One could hope for no more thorough and sincere a review, particularly for a large edited collection. I'm very grateful that John and LA Review of Books gave our work such attention. I hope people read the review. The praise it offers is, of course, appreciated, but John's provocation is more important."
Macintosh's review is available at lareviewofbooks.org and the Routledge Companion to Literature and Economics is available for loan from Gannett-Tripp Library.