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This 16th installment in the "Wilson Authors" series is a current survey of writers who garnered critical attention from 2000 to 2005-or, as the preface states, "authors who have published significant work within the period." Editors Curry (ed., Women's Rights, "Reference Shelf" series), David Ram (ed., Nobel Prize Winners), and Albert Rolls (language & literature, Touro Coll.) present introductory biobibliographical essays on 293 novelists, essayists, playwrights, poets, and other writers, from the famous (e.g., Joan Didion; Harold Pinter; Dan Brown) to the less well known (e.g., Audrey Niffenegger; Tommie Shelby; Ali Smith). An alphabetical listing of authors points to entries by page number; entries range in length from a single page to several pages, and each concludes with suggested readings and a listing of selected works. The well-written articles provide a rounded profile of the author's life, career, influences, and contribution to contemporary literature. Many essays are autobiographical or include first-person or third-person biographical statements, and critical reception of each author's work is also delineated. Photographs of the writers appear here and there.
—Katharine A. Webb