On Rereading by Patricia Meyer Spacks

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After retiring from teaching literature, Patricia Meyer Spacks embarked on a year-long project of rereading dozens of novels: childhood favorites, young adult fiction, canonical works she didn’t like, guilty pleasures. On Rereading records the surprising, fascinating results of her personal experiment and raises a number of intriguing questions.

About Patricia Meyer Spacks

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Patricia Meyer Spacks is Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English, Emerita, at the University of Virginia.
Published November 29, 2011 by Harvard University Press. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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In this accessible, sometimes engaging, but often repetitive and predictable "autobiography of thoughts and feelings elicited by novels," Spacks, an emeritus University of Virginia literature professor, revisits an array of formative texts from her childhood, adolescence, and academic career.

Oct 17 2011 | Read Full Review of On Rereading


The book is divided into different sections based on what kind of rereading Spacks is doing—rereading childhood favorites, rereading for professional reasons, rereading for continued pleasure—and these chapters succeed or fail largely based on how interesting Spacks’ reasons are for her rereading.

Feb 17 2012 | Read Full Review of On Rereading

Journal Sentinel

"On Rereading" (The Belknap Press, $26.95), Patricia Meyer Spacks' recently published book, encourages us to think about the books that affected or intrigued us so much that we went on second or third dates with them, and want to see them again.

Jan 21 2012 | Read Full Review of On Rereading

Project MUSE

Yet on page 1 of On Rereading, a memoir of her deliberate project to reread a variety of books she had read at least once, she quotes one of those rare adult rereaders who has allowed himself to revert to a childlike companionship with books: "Consider Larry McMurtry, writing in his early seventi...

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