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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $65.00
  • September 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-91339-2
  • 6.1 × 9.2 in / 2016 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

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The Norton Introduction to Literature

Shorter Eleventh Edition


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Kelly J. Mays (Editor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)


The only introduction to literature that’s a Norton.

The Norton Introduction to Literature, Shorter Eleventh Edition, is a diverse, flexible, and balanced text that offers the most carefully edited apparatus and the most interesting and useful treatment of the contexts of literature. A best seller since its first edition, The Norton Introduction to Literature continues to meet the needs of today’s students and instructors, offering trusted guidance for analyzing texts, writing thoughtfully, and appreciating literature.


Flexible, Diverse, and Balanced Selections

The Norton Introduction to Literature continues to offer the most engaging balance of exciting contemporary works and beloved classics. New contemporary selections include David Foster Wallace (“Good People”), Karen Russell (“St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves”), Lydia Davis (“Head, Heart”), David Sedaris (“Jesus Shaves”), and Jane Martin. Also new to this edition are classic and classroom-favorite works by Emily Dickinson, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Wordsworth, and more.  

Expanded Topical and Thematic Albums

Each album provides a cluster of stories or poems that explores a single topic from multiple perspectives. An album on “The Sonnet” provides a compact introduction to this form. The albums in Fiction examine “Telling Stories,” “Initiation Stories,” “Monsters,” and “Cross-Cultural Encounters,” and the Poetry section includes albums on “The Art of (Reading) Poetry,” “Exploring Gender,” “Homelands,” “Family,” “Words and Music,” “Haiku,” “Emily Dickinson,” “W. B. Yeats,” “Pat Mora,” and “The Garden of Eden.”  

A Thoughtful and Trusted Apparatus That Builds Close-Reading, Analysis, and Writing Skills

Insightful “Reading, Responding, and Writing” chapters present a framework for effectively analyzing each genre of literature. Clear coverage of the elements of literature provides a foundation for writing thoughtfully.

A revised “Poetry: Reading, Responding, Writing” chapter guides students on how to approach a poem, supplies what questions to ask of it, and provides step-by-step suggestions on how to analyze poetry. A reorganized poetry section now includes three shorter, more accessible chapters on “Language: Word Choice and Order,” “Picturing: Visual Imagery and Figures of Speech,” and “Symbols.”

More Resources for Student Writers

The Shorter Eleventh Edition has six updated chapters on Writing about Literature, which build essential writing skills through coverage of the writing process, from generating ideas, to integrating sources, to writing a research paper. Literary Workshops (5 new, and 55 total) give students step-by-step practice as they read, respond, and write about key works in the anthology. Updated and revised Literary Workshops include authors such as Margaret Atwood, Terrance Hayes, Lorraine Hansberry, and others. And the Shorter Eleventh Edition includes 17 student essays (2 new), which give students a wide range of examples on everything from note taking to response papers to research essays. 

The Best on the Contexts of Literature

The Shorter Eleventh Edition offers an unparalleled collection of contextual chapters that complement formal analysis. A new “Cultural and Historical Context” chapter on Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun includes documents and sources offering a rich exploration of the play and the civil rights movement, with important resonances between contemporary lives and literature. Chapters are refreshed throughout, with new works and essays, updated critical documents, streamlined presentation, and expanded resources for writers. In-text author biographies now appear alongside their works in the Fiction and Drama sections, giving students further insight into the people behind the literature. 

The Best and Most Useful Resources for Instructors and Students

A revised and expanded LitWeb offers students even more resources to improve their close-reading and writing skills, with Literary Workshops, tutorials, quizzes, and more. An Interactive Instructor’s Guide helps instructors find information on the works they teach, discover new selections to use in class, and integrate LitWeb and other instructor ancillaries into their course. And, an Instructor’s Resource Folder includes audio MP3s of select poems, short stories, and scenes from plays; lecture PowerPoints and images from the text and Literary Workshops. 

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