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

  • Beaumont, Matthew. How We Walk: Frantz Fanon and the Politics of the Body. Verso Books, Mar. 2024.
  • Behrooz, Anahit. Mapping Middle-Earth: Environmental and Political Narratives in J. R. R. Tolkien's Cartographies. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb. 2024.
  • Bergstein, Mary. Visual Cutlure in Freud's Vienna: Science, Eros, and the Psychoanalytic Imagination. Bloomsbury Publishing, Mar. 2024.
  • Brintlinger, Angela. Why We Need Russian Literature: Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and Others. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb. 2024.
  • Cowan, Leah. Why Would Feminists Trust the Police? Verso Books, June 2024.
  • Curthoys, Ned. The Bildungsroman in a Genocidal Age. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb. 2024.
  • Daiker, Donald. Hemingway's Earliest Heroes Nick Adams and Jake Barnes. Kendall Hunt Publishing, Feb. 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. 2024.
  • Gabler, Hans Walter. Genetic Inroads into the Art of James Joyce. Open Book Publishers, Feb. 2024.
  • Horton, Emily. Twenty-First-Century British Gothic: The Monstrous, Spectral, and Uncanny in Contemporary Fiction. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb. 2024.
  • Hume, Robert D. Paratext Printed with New English Plays, 1660-1700. Cambridge UP, Feb. 2024.
  • Jones, Christine Kenyon. Jane Austen and Lord Byron: Regency Relations. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb. 2024.
  • Lublin, Robert I., and Elizabeth A. Fay, eds. The Afterlives of Frankenstein: Popular and Artistic Adaptations and Reimaginings. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb. 2024.
  • Martinez, Cristina S. Female Printmakers, Printsellers, and Print Publishers in the Eighteenth Century: The Imprint of Women, c. 1700-1830. Cambridge UP, Mar. 2024.
  • McKelvey, Patrick Timothy. Disability Works: Performance After Rehabilitation. New York UP, July 2024.
  • Medeiros, Paulo de, and Ana Paula Arnaut. The Hypercontemporary Novel in Portugal: Fictional Aesthetics and memory after Postmodernism. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb. 2024.
  • Millet, Kitty. Kabbalah and Literature. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb. 2024.
  • Morgenstern, John D., and Michelle Witen, editors. Modernism in Wonderland: Legacies of Lewis Carroll.  Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb. 2024.
  • Östbjerg, Kell. The Rise and Fall of Swedish Social Democracy. Verso Books, Apr. 2024.
  • Passey, Joan, and Robert Lloyd, eds. Shirly Jackson's Dark Tales: Reconsidering the Short Fiction. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb. 2024.
  • Pethers, Matthew, and Daniel Diez Couch, editors. The Part and the Whole in Early American Literature, Print Culture, and Art, Rutgers UP, Apr. 2024.
  • Russell, Legacy. Black Meme. Verso Books, May 2024.
  • Sonboldel, Farshad. The Rebellion Forms in Modern Persian Poetry: Politics of Poetic Experimentation. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb. 2024.
  • Weinberger, Christopher. Imaginary Worlds and Real Ethics in Japanese Fiction: Case Studies in Novel Reflexivity. Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb. 2024.
  • Williams, Elizabeth W. Primitive Normativity: Race, Sexuality, and Temporality in Colonial Kenya. Duke UP, Jan. 2024.
  • Winkler, Elizabeth. Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies: How Doubting the Bard Became the Biggest Taboo in Literature, Simon & Schuster, Apr. 2024.

Books Published in 2023

  • Fennell, Francis L. The Frugal Chariot: Readers, Reading, and the Case of Hopkins. Wipf and Stock, 06 Dec. 2023.
  • Hutchings, William. ‘Wit’s Wild Dancing Light’ Reading the Poems of Alexander Pope. Open Book Publishers, Dec. 2023.
  • Hyde, Jenni. Communicating the News in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge UP, Dec. 2023.
  • La Berge, Leigh Claire. Marx for Cats: A Radical Bestiary. Duke UP, Nov. 2023
  • Mansky, Joseph. Libels and Theater in Shakespeare's England: Publics, Politics, Performance. Cambridge UP, Oct. 2023.
  • Nees, Lawrence. Illuminating the Word in the Early Middle Ages. Cambridge UP, Dec. 2023.
  • Saunders, Corinne. Women and Medieval Literary Culture: From the Early Middle Ages to the Fifteenth Century. Cambridge UP, Oct. 2023.
  • Zionkowski, Linda, editor. Women and Music in the Age of Austen. Bucknell UP, Dec. 2023.