“Its book reviews and commentaries on theater, dance, film, and music have maintained a high standard of intelligent critical writing, providing a touchstone for anyone seriously interested in the arts.”
William H. Pritchard, moderator, first appeared in The Hudson Review in Summer 1967 and became an Advisory Editor of the magazine in 1973. His published criticism includes critical and biographical studies of Robert Frost, Randall Jarrell, Wyndham Lewis, and John Updike. He is the Henry Clay Folger Professor of English, Emeritus, at Amherst College.
Susan Balée’s Flannery O’Connor, Literary Prophet of the South (1994) was the first biography of the Southern writer.
Andrew Motion, the United Kingdom Poet Laureate 1999–2009, is the Homewood Professor of the Arts in the Writing Seminars program at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author most recently of Coming in to Land: Selected Poems 1975–2015.
Igor Webb is the author of Rereading the Nineteenth Century: Studies in the Old Criticism from Austen to Lawrence (2010). He is a Professor and the Director of Creative Writing at Adelphi University.
TWS: What is a uniquely Hudson Review-style essay and how does it differ from, say, a New York Times Book Review essay?
Koury: I would say that range of subject matter is one of the defining characteristics of our essays.
Literary Awakenings: Personal Essays from the Hudson Review, edited by managing editor Ronald Koury, has just been published by Syracuse University Press and is now available for purchase.
About the book: During the past thirty years, the editors of the Hudson Review have observed a trend among some of the best literary essayists and reviewers to situate their criticism in a deeply personal manner as opposed to the theoretical, technocratic work being produced in many literary and academic publications. Over time, the Hudson Review became a home for this kind of accessible, memoirist writing. Literary Awakenings collects eighteen essays published over the last three decades that celebrate the writer’s relationship with literature, one that is deeply shaped by experience and remembrance.
The essays gathered here recall disparate awakenings to the influence of literature and discoveries of the many ways in which it enriches nearly every aspect of our lives. Antonio Muñoz Molina describes his education as a writer and a citizen as a form of protest against Franco’s totalitarian regime in Spain. Drawing upon Huckleberry Finn, Wendell Berry meditates on the impulse to escape that literature often invokes, and Judith Pascoe’s tribute to Clarissa confesses to the appeal of reading select literature that initiates one into an exclusive coterie of people. What unites these diverse contributions is the joy of appreciation, the pleasures of engaging with literature.
We are happy to announce that Asako Serizawa’s short story “Train to Harbin,” published in our Autumn 2014 issue, has been selected as an O. Henry award winner. The story will be featured in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2016, edited by Laura Furman. The anthology will be published by Anchor this September. We extend congratulations to Ms. Serizawa, and to all the 2016 O. Henry Prize winners.