Falconer, Orpheus Dis(re)membered: Milton and the Myth of the Poet-Hero. Continuum International Publishing Group: London, 1996, pp. 1-227. ISBN 1850756090 This monograph provides a close reading of Milton’s allusions to Orpheus in his poetry and prose writing; these passages reveal Milton’s optimistic ideas, doubts and fears about the role of the poet in times of historical and personal crisis.

Falconer, Hell in Contemporary Literature: Western Descent Narratives since 1945. Edinburgh University Press and Columbia University Press: Edinburgh, 2005, pp. 1-262. ISBN 0-7486-1763-9 (hardback); 978-0-7486-3443-9 (paperback). This book explores the idea that modern, Western secular cultures have retained a belief in the concept of Hell as an event or experience of endless or unjust suffering. In the contemporary period, the descent to Hell has come to represent the means of recovering, or discovering selfhood. These ideas have combined with earlier literary and religious models of katabatic narrative to produce the notion of a self made ethical by its encounter with the underworld. In exploring these ideas, this book discusses descent journeys in Holocaust testimony and fiction, memoirs of mental illness, and feminist, postmodern and post-colonial narratives written after 1945. There are close readings of Primo Levi, W.G. Sebald, Sarah Kofman, Anne Michaels, Lauren Slater, Marge Piercy, Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood, Gloria Naylor, Alice Notley, Alasdair Gray, and Salman Rushdie. ‘Highly Recommended’ in USA Librarians’ Review journal, CHOICE (December 2009); ‘impressive scholarship’; ‘informative and closely argued study’ (The Use of English 57.1, Autumn, 2005); ‘Falconer’s wide reading, cultural awareness and alertness to classical archetypes make this a convincing survey not only of the persistence of Hell but of the possibilities of redemption. In an age of “furious religion” such fantastic realism or realistic fantasy is all the more needed.’ (Literature and Theology, 23 May 2007)

Falconer, The Crossover Novel: Contemporary Children’s Fiction and Its Adult Readership. Routledge: London, New York, 2009, pp. 1-263. ISBN 978-0-415-97888-0. This book delves into the heart of the controversy over ‘crossover fiction,’ the fiction that crossed from children to adult readers over the millennial decade, and continues to do so today. I argue that cross-reading cannot be explained by the increase of sophisticated marketing alone, but also suggest deeper changes in social attitudes to childhood, adulthood, and the new narrative structures which are emerging to interpret psychological development in an era of time-space acceleration, compression and reversal. Beginning with a broad overview of crossover fiction and cross-reading in the UK, this study goes on to offer critical readings of texts by David Almond, Mark Haddon, Geraldine McCaughrean, Philip Pullman, J K Rowling. The contexts and paratexts of crossover publication are also discussed in depth, and the responses of actual readers, both child and adult, are included in the analysis. A final chapter discusses the current popularity of children’s classics (the childhood reading of present-day adults) and as a test case analyses the dynamics of adult engagement with C S Lewis’s The Silver Chair. ‘Highly applicable to numerous areas of scholarship’; ‘provides an excellent groundwork for further study’; ‘a remarkable success’ (CLAQ Summer 2009; 34:2). ‘Highly Recommended’ in CHOICE (April 2009).


Adlam, Falconer, Makhlin, Renfrew, eds. Face to Face: Bakhtin Studies in Russia and the West. Continuum International Publishing Group: London, 1997, 20 contributors, pp.1-394. ISBN 1850756961. This volume evolved from the Seventh International Bakhtin Conference in Moscow, 1995, hosted by Professor Makhlin. The Russian contributions were translated and edited by Adlam and Renfrew, the English-language contributions and the volume as a whole edited and introduced by me. ‘[S]ets a new standard of excellence for English-Russian forums (Caryl Emerson, The Slavonic and East European Review 77:2, April 1999); ‘achieves the status of a landmark volume . . . an unparalleled accomplishment’ (Slavic Review 58:4, Winter 1999); ‘essential reading for Bakhtin scholars’ (Journal of European Studies), ‘a work of remarkable scholarship’ (Canadian Slavonic Papers).

Guest co-editor, Rachel Falconer and Karin Littau, Invention: Literature and Science. Comparative Critical Studies 2.2. Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, 2005, pp. 1-301. ISSN 1744-1854. This volume of the British Comparative Literature Association journal comprises an edited selection of papers delivered at the Tenth International BCLA Conference, at Leeds University, 2004.

Rachel Falconer and Andrew Oliver, eds. Re-reading / La relecture: essays in honour of Graham Falconer. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2012, 1-331. ISBN 978-1-4438-3760-6.This bilingual festschrift collection comprises twenty essays on the theory and practice of re-reading nineteenth and twentieth century French and English literature. Includes chapters on Proust, Flaubert, Stendhal, Balzac, Hugo, Dostoevsky and other writers, by an international range of contributors: Victor Brombert, Ross Chambers, Mary Donaldson-Evans, Graham Falconer, Tim Farrant, Margot Irvine, James Knowlson, Robert Lethbridge, Rosemary Lloyd, Alberto Manguel, Henri Mitterand, Gabriel Moyal, Marshall Olds, Andrew Oliver, Paul Perron, Laurence Porter, Martine de Rougement, Marion Schmid, Henry Schogt, Clive Thomson. Preface by Andrew Oliver; introduction by Rachel Falconer.

Rachel Falconer and Denis Renevey, guest eds., Medieval and Early Modern Literature, Science and Medicine. Tubingen: Gunter Narr, 2013. Special issue of Swiss Publications of English Language and Literature. This collection of fourteen essays brings together specialists from the medieval and early modern periods for an interdisciplinary study of literature, medicine and science in these periods. The volume includes an introduction by Falconer and Renevey. Essays were originally submitted as papers for the Third Biennial Conference of the Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern English Studies at the University of Lausanne (27-29 June 2012). ‘On gage que le lectorat d’un tel recueil, où il est question de perception de la maladie, de poétique de la navigation, de mélancolie, d’obstétrique populaire et de saints guérisseurs, ne saurait se restreindre lui non plus aux limites étroites d’une discipline, mais comprendra un spectre élargi d’intéressés, au-delà du cercle spécialisé des historien-ne-s de la littérature.’ (Gesnerus 71, 2014).

Rachel Falconer, ed., Kathleen Jamie: Essays and Poems on her Work. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.The first scholarly volume dedicated to the work of Scots poet Kathleen Jamie; contains 16 critical essays and seven original poems, with associated electronic resource (readings by Kathleen Jamie of poems discussed in the volume). Includes essays by Timothy Baker, Amanda Bell, Eleanor Bell, Lucy Collins, Robert Crawford, Lynn Davidson, Rachel Falconer, Louisa Gairn, Maria Johnston, Faith Lawrence, Peter Mackay, Alan Riach, Juliet Simpson, Eleanor Spencer, David Wheatley, and poems by Andrew Greig, Leontia Flynn, Michael Longley, Jamie McKendrick, Michael O’Neill, Fiona Sampson, and Roderick Watson. ‘Anyone interested in Kathleen Jamie – and that’s an increasing number of people, including, I think, general readers of literature – will profit from this book.’ (Neil Corcoran, Emeritus King Alfred Professor of English, University of Liverpool); ‘[O]ffers the first thorough critical accounting of Jamie’s work as a whole … but this beautifully put together volume does so much more, assembling critics and poets in a substantial exchange about Jamie’s art.’ (Fiona Wilson, Scottish Literary Review, Volume 7, Number 2, Autumn/ Winter 2015, pp. 184-186)

Book Chapters

‘Introduction’, Face to Face: Bakhtin Studies in Russia and the West, by Adlam, Falconer, Makhlin, Renfrew (1997), pp. 23-43.

‘Bakhtin, Milton and the Epic Chronotope’, in Face to Face: Bakhtin Studies in Russia and the West, ed. by Adlam, Falconer, Makhlin, Renfrew (1997), pp. 254-272.

‘Telescoping Timescapes: Short Fiction and the Contemporary Sense of Time’, in Moments of Moment: Aspects of the Literary Epiphany, by Wim Tiggs (Rodopi: Amsterdam, 1999), pp. 445-466. ISBN 90-420-0636-6

‘Genres and Modes: Epic’, in A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture, by Michael Hattaway (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), pp.327-339.ISBN 0-631-21668-5

‘Readings: a Wyatt Sonnet’, in A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture, by Michael Hattaway (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), pp. 176-186.ISBN 0-631-21668-5

‘Selfhood in Descent: Primo Levi’s The Search for Roots and If This is a Man’, in Representing the Holocaust, by Sue Vice (London: Valentine Mitchell, 2003), pp. 203-230. ISBN 0-8530-3495-8

‘The Epic’, in The Continuum Encyclopaedia of British Literature, ed. by Steven Serafin and Valerie Grosvenor Myer (New York: Continuum Press, 2003). ISBN 0-8264-1456-7

‘Tolkien, Dante, and Crossover Epic’, in Books and Their Boundaries: Writers and Their Audiences, by Patricia Pinsent (Staffordshire: Pied Piper Publishing, 2004), pp. 98-113. ISBN 09546384-3-3

‘Crossover Literature’, in The International Companion Encyclopaedia of Children’s Literature, by Peter Hunt, 2nd edn, 2 vols (Routledge: London, 2004), Vol 1, pp. 556-575. ISBN 0-415-29053-8

‘Thomas May’, in Dictionary of British Classicists, 1500-1960, , by Robert Todd, 3 vols (London: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004). ISBN 1-85506-997-0

‘Teaching Primo Levi’, in Teaching Holocaust Literature and Film, by Robert Eaglestone and Barry Langford (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007), pp. 114-125. ISBN-13:978-0-230-01936-2, ISBN-10:0-230-01936-6.

‘Underworld Portmanteaux: Dante’s Hell and Carroll’s Wonderland in Women’s Memoirs of Mental Illness,’ in Alice Beyond Wonderland: Essays for the Twenty-first Century, ed. by Cristopher Hollingsworth (University of Iowa Press: 2009), pp. 3-22. ISBN-10: 1587298198; ISBN-13: 978-1587298196

‘Cross-reading and Crossover Books,’ in Children’s Literature: Approaches and Territories, by J. Maybin and N.J. Watson (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

‘Genres and Modes: Epic’, revised for second edition of A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture, by Michael Hattaway (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010).

‘Readings: a Wyatt Sonnet’, revised for second edition of A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture, by Michael Hattaway (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010).

‘Young Adult Fiction and the Crossover Phenomenon,’ in The Routledge Companion to Children’s Literature, David Rudd (Routledge: London, 2010). 5000 words. Mentioned in CHOICE 2010 review of the volume: ‘Chapters 7 (Karen Coats’s « Fantasy ») and 8 (Rachel Falconer’s « Young Adult Fiction and the Crossover Phenomenon ») are particularly well done.’ (D. J. Brothers, Lincoln Land Community College).

Glossary entries for the following terms: ‘Kiddult’, ‘Bakhtin, Mikhail’, ‘Dialogism’, ‘Chronotope’, ‘Ecriture Féminine’, and ‘Reader-Response Criticism’, in David Rudd (ed), The Routledge Companion to Children’s Literature (2010). 800 words per entry.

‘Heterochronic Representations of the Fall: Bakhtin, Milton, DeLillo,’ in Bakhtin’s Theory of the Literary Chronotope: Reflections, Applications, Perspectives, eds. Nele Bemong, Pieter Borghart, Michel De Dobbeleer, Kristoffel Demoen, Koen De Temmerman (Academia Press, 2010). ISBN: 9038215630; 9789038215631

‘Hell in our time: reading 9/11 and its aftermath as a Dantean descent into Hell,’ in Hell and Its Afterlife: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, M. Toscano and I. Moreira (Ashgate Publishing, 2010), pp. 217-236.

‘Heaney, Virgil and contemporary katabasis’ in Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture: A Companion to Poetic Genre, ed. Erik Martiny (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

‘Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and Milton’s Paradise Lost,’ in Reading ‘The Heavenly Republic’: Critical Perspectives on Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, Steven Barfield and Katharine Cox (McFarland Publishing, 2011).

‘Introduction: On Re-reading’, in Re-reading / La relecture, Rachel Falconer and Andrew Oliver (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2012), pp. 1 -12.

‘Tolkien’s predecessors: William Morris, Lord Dunsany, David Lindsay’ in Stuart D. Lee, ed., A Companion to J. R.R. Tolkien, 303-316. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-470-65982-3

‘Introduction’ in Kathleen Jamie: Essays and Poems on her Work. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.

‘Midlife Music: Kathleen Jamie’s The Overhaul and Frissure’ in Kathleen Jamie: Essays and Poems on her Work. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.

‘Faire face à l’Autre au travers de la métaphore : Le Système périodique de Primo Levi et autres œuvres’, trans. Juliette Loesch, in Guido, Hennard, Maire, Panese, Roelens, eds, Histoires, représentations, créations, Lausanne: Editions Bibliothèque d’histoire de la médecine et de la santé, 2016. ISBN: 978-2-9700640

Refereed Journals – Original Articles

‘Bakhtin’s Chronotope and the Contemporary Short Story’, in Bakhtin/“Bakhtin”: Studies in the Archive and Beyond, special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly 97:3/4, ed. Peter Hitchcock (Summer/Fall 1998), pp. 699-732, ISBN 0-8223-6461-1

‘Bouncing Down to Hell: Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath her Feet and classical katabasis’, in Twentieth Century Literature 4, special issue on Salman Rushdie, eds. Sabina and Simona Sawhney (Winter 2001), pp. 467-509, ISSN 0041-462X

‘Shape-Changing in Hell: Metamorphosis and Katabasis in Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet and Levi’s The Truce, E-REA: e-Revue d’Études Anglophones 2 (Autumn 2004), pp. 1-10, ISSN 1638-1718

‘Crossover Literature and Abjection: Geraldine McCaughrean’s The White Darkness’, Children’s Literature in Education 38:1 (March 2007), pp. 35-44, ISSN: 0045-6713.

‘Is There Freedom Afterwards? A Dialogue between Paradise Lost and DeLillo’s Falling Man‘. Milton Studies, Vol 52, ed. Laura Knoppers, Duquesne University Press, 2012. ISBN-10: 0820704512; ISBN-13: 978-0820704517

‘Facing the Other through Metaphor: Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table and other writings’, JLS (British Journal of Literature and Science) 2 (2015), pp. 53-71, ISSN 1754-646X. Available online:

‘Face à l’Autre par la métaphore : Le Système périodique de Primo Levi’, tr. Juliette Loesch. In Visages: Histoires, Représentations, Créations, ed. Laurent Guido et al., Lausanne: Editions BHMS, 2016.

‘The Music of Heaney’s Aeneid VI’, Comparative Literature March 2018.


Refereed Journals Published Online – Original Articles

‘Katabatic Narratives’, The Literary Encyclopedia, Cristina Sandru (October 2011).

‘Seamus Heaney, ‘District and Circle’, The Literary Encyclopedia, Cristina Sandru (February 2012)

Falconer, Rachel and Philip Lindholm, “John Keats.” Oxford Bibliographies in British and Irish Literature. Andrew Hadfield. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. <>

Refereed Journals – Reviews

Review: ‘Cutting the Heroics: Ferdowsi’s The Legend of Seyavash translated by Dick Davis’. In Edebiyat: the Journal of Middle Eastern Literatures 6:1 (1995), pp. 143-66, ISSN 0364-6505

Review of: Colin Graham, Ideologies of Epic: Nation, Empire and Victorian Epic Poetry. In: The Tennyson Research Bulletin 7:2 (November 1998), pp. 103-106, ISSN 0082-2841

Review of: Sue Vice, Introducing Bakhtin. In: Dialogism: an International Journal of Bakhtin Studies 1 (1998) pp. 118-19, ISSN 1365-0367

Review of: William Kilbrener, Milton’s Warring Angels: a Study of Critical Engagements’. In: English Language Notes 36:3 (March 1999), pp. 82-85, ISSN 00138282

Review of: David Norbrook, Writing the English Republic. In: Milton Quarterly 34:1 (March 2000), pp. 25-29, ISSN 0026-4326

Review of: Catherine Maxwell, The Female Sublime from Milton to Swinburne: Bearing Blindness. In: The Tennyson Research Bulletin 7:5 (November 2001), pp. 270-272, ISSN 0082-2841

Review of: Jennifer Fraser, Rite of Passage in the Narratives of Dante and Joyce. In: Canadian Review of Comparative Literature/Revue Canadienne de Littérature Comparée (2004)

Review of: Zoe Waxman, Writing the Holocaust: Identity, Testimony, Representation. In: The Journal of Jewish Culture and History (2006)

Review of: Valeria Tinkler-Villani and C. C. Barfoot, eds., Restoring the Mystery of the Rainbow: Literature’s Refraction of Science (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011), 2 vols. In: Comparative Critical Studies

Review of: Robert Harrison, Juvenescence (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2015). In: Children’s Literature 46 (2016): 284-92

Marie-Luise Egbert (ed.). The Life of Birds in Literature (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2015). In: Anglia/Journal of English Philology, 2016.
Theatre Reviews and other writing

‘Theatre in Prague, Past and Present’, Contemporary Review 262 (January 1993), pp. 32-39, ISSN 0010/7565

‘Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe’, review article in Divadelni Noviny, Prague (September, 1992)

‘Divadlo Na Zabradli: Back Again’, in Prognosis, Prague (12 June, 1992): article on the history and re-opening of Vaclav Havel’s Theatre on the Balustrade

Around twenty 200 to 500-word reviews for Plays and Players and The Oxford Times (1992-93)

‘Prague Impromptu’, Exeter College Association Register 1992, pp. 61-67

‘The man not chosen’, translated into Czech by Tomáš Míka and published as ‘Ten nepravý’, in Deník rychlého člověka (Prague: Argo, 2007), pp. 82-83, ISBN 978-80-7203-908-1

Educational Videos

Living Literature, the Classics and You: Milton’s Paradise Lost. Educational video for Governors State University Education Series (Illinois, 1994).

Kiddult Fiction. Educational video for University of Sheffield (2002).

Audio Lecture – Published Online

The Crossover Novel. Internet version of talk delivered 21 April 2008 (see under ‘conferences’). CILIP Education Librarians Group:
Public Interviews

Interview for ‘Odyssey’, Chicago Public Radio (4 March 2005): cultural studies programme, special broadcast devoted to representations of Hell and the Devil in recent American films

Interview for ‘The Current’, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC Radio 1 (9 April 2007), programme on the history of Hell and its contemporary relevance

Interview for Professor Noel Sharkey’s ‘The Sound of Science’ Programme, Sheffield Live! (93.2FM; 10 April 2009), on ‘How to be Creative’, first event in the 2009 Sheffield Arts-Science Encounters.