Book Reviews


Members of the MMLA are encouraged to submit book reviews which, if accepted, will be published in the Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association (JMMLA).  Strong book reviews help scholars keep abreast of the state of scholarship in their own and other fields, and they guide researchers in choosing books relevant to their scholarship.                                                                                                                                                     
If you would like to review a book that would be of interest to our members, please inform us by email at [email protected], and attach a copy of your CV.  Please keep in mind that only one book review from a single scholar may be under consideration at a time.  Scholars who have published a book review with the JMMLA previously are invited to submit another at a later date if they are interested in doing so.

Guidelines and Models

To assist members in composing strong book reviews, we offer the following guidelines and models:

I.  Guidelines

An effective book review should:

  • Distill the essence of the book’s argument, identifying the critical debates in which it intervenes, the analytical problems it addresses, the key assertions or claims it makes, and the methods and materials it uses to support those claims. 
  • Describe how the book’s parts support its key claims, and evaluate whether that support is convincing.   
  • Identify the scholarly audiences who would benefit from reading this book, and situate the book's argument in relation to other works in that field of scholarship. 
  • Specify how researchers will benefit from this book, referencing the book’s own account of that benefit, and supplementing or challenging that account as appropriate.
  • Accomplish the above in not more than 1200 words.

II.  Models

Those seeking models to emulate when composing a book review are invited to consult the following:

Selecting a Book to Review

Recent books that you are reading for exam preparation, dissertation research, or other scholarly projects are all excellent candidates to review.  Please Note: To keep our reviews timely, we only publish reviews of books published within the last year-and-a-half. The MMLA maintains a list of books available for review (see below), but members need not limit themselves to these titles. If you wish to review a book that is not listed below, we can request that the book's publisher supply you with a review copy.

Books Published in 2024

  • Williams, Elizabeth W. Primitive Normativity: Race, Sexuality, and Temporality in Colonial Kenya. Duke University Press, Jan. 2024.
  • Morgenstern, John D., and Michelle Witen, editors. Modernism in Wonderland: Legacies of Lewis Carroll.  Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb 08, 2024.
  • Doubinsky, Sébastien, and Christina Kkona, editors. Women of Horror and Speculative Fiction in Their Own Words: Conversations with Authors and Editors. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb 08, 2024.
  • Brintlinger, Angela. Why We Need Russian Literature: Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and Others. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb 08, 2024.
  • Sellami, Samir. Hyperbolic Realism: A Wild Reading of Pynchon’s and Bolaño’s Late Maximalist Fiction. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb 08, 2024.
  • Millet, Kitty. Kabbalah and Literature. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb 08, 2024.
  • Hume, Robert D. Paratext Printed with New English Plays, 1660-1700. Cambridge University Press, Feb. 2024.
  • Gabler, Hans Walter. Genetic Inroads into the Art of James Joyce. Open Book Publishers, Feb. 2024.
  • The Many Worlds of Anglophone Literature. Edited by Silvia Anastasijevic et al. Bloomsbury Publishing, 08 Feb. 2024.
  • Weinberger, Christopher. Imaginary Worlds and Real Ethics in Japanese Fiction: Case Studies in Novel Reflexivity. Bloomsbury Publishing, 08 Feb. 2024.
  • Martinez, Cristina S. Female Printmakers, Printsellers, and Print Publishers in the Eighteenth Century: The Imprint of Women, c. 1700-1830. Cambridge University Press, Mar. 2024.
  • Beaumont, Matthew. How We Walk: Frantz Fanon and the Politics of the Body. Verso Books, Mar. 2024.
  • Östbjerg, Kell. The Rise and Fall of Swedish Social Democracy. Verso Books, Apr. 2024.
  • Russell, Legacy. Black Meme. Verso Books, May 2024.
  • Cowan, Leah. Why Would Feminists Trust the Police? Verso Books, June 2024.
  • McKelvey, Patrick Timothy. Disability Works: Performance After Rehabilitation. NYU Press, July 2024.

Books Published in 2023

  • Francis L. Fennell, The Frugal Chariot: Readers, Reading, and the Case of Hopkins. Wipf and Stock, December 6, 2023.
  • Burgess, Glenn. George Orwell's Perverse Humanity: Socialism and Free Speech. Bloomsbury Publishing, 04 May 2023.
  • Mansky, Joseph. Libels and Theater in Shakespeare's England: Publics, Politics, Performance. Cambridge University Press, Oct. 2023.
  • Saunders, Corinne. Women and Medieval Literary Culture: From the Early Middle Ages to the Fifteenth Century. Cambridge University Press, Oct. 2023.
  • La Berge, Leigh Claire. Marx for Cats: A Radical Bestiary. Duke University Press, Nov. 2023
  • Tongson, Karen. Normporn: Queer Viewers and the TV That Soothes Us. NYU Press, Nov. 2023.
  • Hyde, Jenni. Communicating the News in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge University Press, Dec. 2023.
  • Nees, Lawrence. Illuminating the Word in the Early Middle Ages. Cambridge University Press, Dec. 2023.
  • Hutchings, William. ‘Wit’s Wild Dancing Light’ Reading the Poems of Alexander Pope. Open Book Publishers, 19 Dec. 2023.