Skip to main content
Wartburg College homepage  
VOGEL LIBRARY

English Courses & Research: Literature 
Overview

Literature Overview Sources

Literature research has some types of overview sources that are specific to literature.

See also excellent resources on the Overview Sources tab.

Book Review or Criticism?

A BOOK REVIEW is a critical examination of that book. The author of an editorial book review recommend that a book is worth buying for a particular audience or purpose.

LITERARY CRITICISM evaluates or analyzes works of literature. It is the art or practice of judging and commenting on the qualities and character of literary works.

Reader's Guide Sources

Reader's Guides for literature will guide you through the critical treatment of an author and/or a work over the course of time.

Literary Criticism in Overview Sources

LITERARY CRITICISM evaluates or analyzes works of literature. It is the art or practice of judging and commenting on the qualities and character of literary works. Some literature overview books include criticism along with biographical information

Examples of Reference Books containing criticism

  • Magill’s Bibliography of Literary Criticism;  809 M272m
  • A Guide to Critical Reviews; Ref. 809.2 SA32 (American plays from 1909-1969)
  • Critical Survey of Poetry, Foreign Language Series; Ref. 809.1 C869
  • Critical Survey of Drama; Ref. 809.2 C869 2003
  • Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Foreign Language Series; Ref. 809.3 c869
  • Critical Survey of Short Fiction, Revised Edition; Ref. 809.31 C869 1993
  • 1,300 Critical Evaluations of Selected Novels and Plays; Ref. 809.924 M272
  • Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography; Ref. 810.9 C748
  • Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography; Ref. 820.9 C748
  • The Library of Literary Criticism of English and American Authors; 820.9 M86
  • Critical Survey of Poetry, English Language Series, Revised Edition; 809.1 C869

Author Biographies Sources

Reading an author's bio will uncover the both their life and work biographies.

We have several books in reference collection that publish author bios:

  • Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century; Ref. 803 En195 1999
  • Cyclopedia of World Authors; Ref. 809 C992 1997
  • World Literature and Its Times; Ref. 809 W893
  • World Authors, 1900-1950; Ref. 809.04 W893 1996
  • World Poets; Ref. 809.1 W893 2000
  • Short Story Writers; Ref. 809.31 Sh81 1997
  • The Encyclopedia of Fantasy; Ref. 809.38766 En19 1997
  • The Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage; Ref. 809.892 G254 1995
  • Something about the Author; Ref. 809.89282 So54 (index in every other volume)
  • Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature; Ref. 810.3 Ox2 2004
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography, Afro-American Writers Series; Ref. 810.9896 Af854 
  • American Women Writers; Ref. 810.922 AM35 (5 vol. set)
  • Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature; Ref. 810.992 G859 2005
  • Contemporary Gay American Poets and Playwrights; Ref. 812.54 C767 2003
  • Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature; Ref. 820.3 Ox1 2006
  • Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography; Ref. 820.9 C748
  • African Writers; Ref. 896 Af83 1997

We also have a few databases which will provide author bios