Irving Howe was a major intellectual presence: winner of the National Book Award for his best-selling history, World of Our Fathers; editor of Dissent, an influential left-wing magazine of opinion; professor of English at Brandeis University, Stanford University, and the City University of New York. When he died in 1993, he left behind a collection of essays on fiction which he had been working on in the last of his life. Assembled by his son, Nicholas Howe, who also provides an introduction, these accessible, idiosyncratic essays, - which Irving Howe called his shtiklach (Yiddish for "little pieces" or "morsels") - explore such enduring literary concepts as character, style, tone, genre. Many address both literature and politics; but all originate from a passion, a moral striving, and an abiding faith in the common reader.
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