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Wendy Lesser draws on a lifetime of pleasure reading and decades of editing one of the most distinguished literary magazines in the country, The Threepenny Review, to describe her love of literature. Here the reader will discover a definition of literature that is as broad as it is broad-minded. In addition to novels and stories, Lesser explores plays, poems, and essays along with mysteries, science fiction, and memoirs.
As she examines these works from such perspectives as "Character and Plot," "Novelty," "Grandeur and Intimacy," and "Authority," Why I Read sparks an overwhelming desire to put aside quotidian tasks in favor of reading. Lesser's passion for this pursuit resonates on every page, whether she is discussing the book as a physical object or a particular work's influence.