cover image What is a Book?

What is a Book?

David Kirby. University of Georgia Press, $19.95 (200pp) ISBN 978-0-8203-2478-4

Rather than taking on the book's physicality (see review of A Book of Books above), Florida State University professor of English David Kirby uses lists of favorites to answer the question What Is a Book? in the title piece from his new collection of critical essays. Kirby finds that for most people ""what counts is the personhood, not of the author, but of the book""-that novels can contain, and become, the most reliable figures of our lives. Others among the 17 essays here wonder ""Is There a Southern Poetry?"" and ""What Is a Critic?,"" and come up with equally thoughtful responses.