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Literature, Literary Criticism, Book Reviews, and Author Information

This guide will help you get started with research into authors and literary criticism. Use the tabs below to navigate through the guide.

Search the Books & Media tab on our website

E-book Databases

E-Book Central is an excellent collection of (mostly) scholarly or academic books. You may download books (limited time), download chapters, print chapters, and more. Just keep following the links. You'll need to download free Adobe software.

E-book Collection is a smaller e-book database, but it may be worth searching.

Gale E-Books is a collection of e-encyclopedias; it's great for background information for subjects like history, American decades, biographies, and more. It should not be used in general when searching for scholarly, academic, or peer-reviewed works. (there is some scholarly writing in some of the encyclopedias such as Black Literature Criticism: Classic and Emerging Authors since 1950.) Type in the name of the novel, short story, poem, play, or author you are researching. Then, at the bottom, limit the results to the Collection LITERATURE. Title such as Literature and Its Times: Profiles of 300 Notable Literary Works and the Historical Events that Influenced Them, Drama for Students, African American Writers, World Poets, Contemporary Authors,  Supernatural Fiction Writers: Contemporary Fantasy and Horror . 

Credo Reference Academic Core is another e-encyclopedia database.

About Author and Subject Searches

  • An Author search will return works by an author. Use the dropdown menu to choose Author and type the author's last name first, for example Lorde, Audre. Author searches are typically done when looking for books by famous writers (not books by scholars)
  • A Subject search will return books about an author, including criticism and biographies written by scholars.  To find books about an author, choose the SUBJECT search type and type in the author's name:

  • Keyword search is useful if you want to search for more than one concept. For example, "Elizabeth Bishop"  AND Surrealism (put names and other phrases between quotation marks.)
  • You will always get fewer book results than article results. You may find that your book searches need to be more general than your article searches. If you don't get book results when you search for a particular poem, try searching for the poet or genre of poetry. If you find no results for the poem "Beachy Head" by Charlotte Turner Smith, try searching just for "Charlotte Turner Smith."