How to Read Literature Like a Professor

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How to Read Literature like a Professor
AuthorThomas Foster
GenreLiterary Criticism
Publication date
Media typePrint
Pages314 pp (first edition, paperback)
ISBN0-06-000942-X (first edition, paperback)

How to Read Literature Like a Professor is a New York Times bestseller by Thomas C. Foster that was published in 2003. The author suggests interpretations of themes, concepts, and possible symbols commonly found in literature. The book brands itself as "A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines."[1]

The book also includes sample interpretations of Katherine Mansfield's short story, "The Garden Party".

The author's simple, methodical take on literary interpretation has fallen under the scrutiny of literary experts, such as the English professor and biographer Alan Jacobs, who questions the value of the book's premise and criticizes the idea that "reading is best done by highly trained, professionally accredited experts."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Foster, Thomas (2003). How to Read Literature Like a Professor. New York: Harper. p. 314. ISBN 0-06-000942-X.
  2. ^ "Easy Reading: Just Take It One Page At a Time". NPR. June 9, 2011.