Taking readers behind the scenes in the world of fiction reviewing, Inside the Critics’ Circle explores the ways that critics evaluate books despite the inherent subjectivity involved, and the uncertainties of reviewing when seemingly anyone can be a reviewer. Drawing on interviews with critics from such venues as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post, Phillipa Chong delves into the complexities of the review-writing process, including the considerations, values, and cultural and personal anxieties that shape what critics do. In this video, she talks about the politics of book reviewing, which books critics get the knives out for, and why they think we should listen to what they have to say.
Phillipa K. Chong is assistant professor of sociology at McMaster University. Twitter @ChongSOC