1. Falconer, Orpheus Dis(re)membered: Milton and the Myth of the Poet-Hero. Continuum International Publishing Group: London, 1996, pp. 1-227. ISBN 1850756090. 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.
  2. 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)
    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. Amongst a wide range of texts discussed, there are in-depth analyses 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. Drawing on theoretical writing by Bakhtin, Derrida, Charles Taylor and Paul Ricoeur, the book addresses such broader theoretical issues as: narration and identity; the ethics of the subject; trauma and memory; descent as sexual or political dissent; the interrelation of realism and fantasy; and Occidentalism and Orientalism.
  3. 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 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.


  1. 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. Publications from the Seventh International Bakhtin Conference in Moscow, 1995. Russian contributions were selected by Makhlin, translated and edited by Adlam and Renfrew; English-language contributions and the volume as a whole edited and introduced by me.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
    Book Chapters

  6. ‘Introduction’, Face to Face: Bakhtin Studies in Russia and the West, eds. Adlam, Falconer, Makhlin, Renfrew. Sheffield: University of Sheffield Press, 1997: pp. 23-43.
  7. ‘Bakhtin, Milton and the Epic Chronotope’, in Face to Face: Bakhtin Studies in Russia and the West, ed. Adlam, Falconer, Makhlin, Renfrew. Sheffield: University of Sheffield Press, 1997: pp. 254-272.
  8. ‘Telescoping Timescapes: Short Fiction and the Contemporary Sense of Time’, in Moments of Moment: Aspects of the Literary Epiphany, ed. Wim Tiggs. Rodopi: Amsterdam, 1999: pp. 445-466. ISBN 90-420-0636-6
  9. ‘Genres and Modes: Epic’, in A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture, ed. Michael Hattaway. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000 (1st ed): pp.327-339. ISBN 0-631-21668-5
  10. ‘Readings: a Wyatt Sonnet’, in A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture, ed. Michael Hattaway. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000 (1st ed): pp. 176-186. ISBN 0-631-21668-5
  11. ‘Selfhood in Descent: Primo Levi’s The Search for Roots and If This is a Man’, in Representing the Holocaust, ed. Sue Vice. London: Valentine Mitchell, 2003: pp. 203-230. ISBN 0-8530-3495-8
  12. ‘The Epic’, in The Continuum Encyclopaedia of British Literature, ed. Steven Serafin and Valerie Grosvenor Myer. New York: Continuum Press, 2003. ISBN 0-8264-1456-7
  13. ‘Tolkien, Dante, and Crossover Epic’, in Books and Their Boundaries: Writers and Their Audiences, ed. Patricia Pinsent. Staffordshire: Pied Piper Publishing, 2004: pp. 98-113. ISBN 09546384-3-3
  14. ‘Crossover Literature’, in The International Companion Encyclopaedia of Children’s Literature, ed. Peter Hunt, 2nd edn, 2 vols. London: Routledge, 2004, Vol 1, pp. 556-575. ISBN 0-415-29053-8
  15. ‘Thomas May’, in Dictionary of British Classicists, 1500-1960, ed. Robert Todd. London: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004, 3 vols. ISBN 1-85506-997-0
  16. ‘Teaching Primo Levi’, in Teaching Holocaust Literature and Film, ed. Robert Eaglestone and Barry Langford. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007: pp. 114-125. ISBN-13:978-0-230-01936-2, ISBN-10:0-230-01936-6.
  17. ‘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. Cristopher Hollingsworth. University of Iowa Press: 2009: pp. 3-22. ISBN-10: 1587298198; ISBN-13: 978-1587298196
  18. ‘Cross-reading and Crossover Books,’ in Children’s Literature: Approaches and Territories, eds. J. Maybin and N.J. Watson. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
  19. ‘Genres and Modes: Epic’, in A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture, ed. Michael Hattaway. Oxford: Blackwell, 2010 (2nd ed).
  20. ‘Readings: a Wyatt Sonnet’, A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture, ed. Michael Hattaway. Oxford: Blackwell, 2010 (2nd ed).
  21. ‘Young Adult Fiction and the Crossover Phenomenon,’ in The Routledge Companion to Children’s Literature, ed. David Rudd. Routledge: London, 2010.
  22. ‘Kiddult’, ‘Bakhtin, Mikhail’, ‘Dialogism’, ‘Chronotope’, ‘Ecriture Féminine’, and ‘Reader-Response Criticism’, in The Routledge Companion to Children’s Literature, ed. David Rudd. London: Routledge, 2010.
  23. ‘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
  24. ‘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, eds., M. Toscano and I. Moreira. Ashgate Publishing, 2010: pp. 217-236.
  25. ‘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: pp. 404-419.
  26. ‘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, eds. Steven Barfield and Katharine Cox. McFarland Publishing, 2011.
  27. ‘Introduction: On Re-reading’, in Re-reading / La relecture, eds., Rachel Falconer and Andrew Oliver. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2012: pp. 1 -12.
  28. ‘Tolkien’s predecessors: William Morris, Lord Dunsany, David Lindsay’ in A Companion to J. R.R. Tolkien, ed., Stuart D. Lee. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014: pp. 303-316. ISBN: 978-0-470-65982-3
  29. ‘Introduction’ in Kathleen Jamie: Essays and Poems on her Work. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
  30. ‘Midlife Music: Kathleen Jamie’s The Overhaul and Frissure’ in Kathleen Jamie: Essays and Poems on her Work. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
  31. ‘Faire face à l’Autre au travers de la métaphore : Le Système périodique de Primo Levi et autres œuvres’, translated by Juliette Loesch, in Visages: Histoires, représentations, créations, eds., Guido, M. Hennard, B. Maire, F. Panese, et N. Roelens. Lausanne: Editions Bibliothèque d’histoire de la médecine et de la santé, 2016 : pp. 183-208. ISBN: 978-2-9700640
  32. ‘Wordsworth Unenglished’ in Fashioning England and the English: Literature, Nation, Gender, eds. Rahel Orgis and Matthias Heim. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018 [on Wordsworth’s translation of Aeneid 1-3].
  33. ‘Heaney and Virgil’s Underworld Journey’ in Seamus Heaney and the Classics: Bann Valley Muses, eds., Stephen Harrison, Fiona Macintosh, Claire Kenward and Helen Eastman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming, 2019.
  34. ‘Animal Studies’ inThe Blackwell Companion to Children’s Literature, eds. Karen Coats and Deborah Stevenson. Blackwell: Oxford University Press, forthcoming, 2019.
    Peer-reviewed Journals – Original Articles
  35. ‘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
  36. ‘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
  37. ‘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
  38. ‘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.
  39. ‘Katabatic Narratives’, The Literary Encyclopedia, Cristina Sandru (October 2011).
  40. ‘Is There Freedom Afterwards? A Dialogue between Paradise Lost and DeLillo’s Falling Man‘. Milton Studies 52, ed. Laura Knoppers, Duquesne University Press, 2012. ISBN-10: 0820704512; ISBN-13: 978-0820704517
  41. ‘Seamus Heaney, ‘District and Circle’, The Literary Encyclopedia, Cristina Sandru (February 2012)
  42. Falconer, Rachel and Philip Lindholm, “John Keats.” Oxford Bibliographies in British and Irish Literature. Andrew Hadfield. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, revised 2017.
  43. ‘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:
  44. ‘The Music of Heaney’s Aeneid VI’, Comparative Literature (U Oregon) 69:4 (Dec 2017), pp. 430-448. DOI 10.1215/00104124-4260409.
  45. ‘Heaney, Pascoli and the Ends of Poetry’, in Thomas Harrison, ed., The Ends of Poetry. Special issue of California Italian Studies (UC Berkeley), Vol 8, Forthcoming, 2018.
    Book Reviews
  46. ‘Cutting the Heroics: Ferdowsi’s The Legend of Seyavash translated by Dick Davis’. In Edebiyat: the Journal of Middle Eastern Literatures 6:1 (1995): 143-66, ISSN 0364-6505
  47. Colin Graham, Ideologies of Epic: Nation, Empire and Victorian Epic Poetry. In: The Tennyson Research Bulletin 7:2 (November 1998): 103-106, ISSN 0082-2841
  48. Sue Vice, Introducing Bakhtin. In: Dialogism: an International Journal of Bakhtin Studies 1 (1998): 118-19, ISSN 1365-0367
  49. William Kilbrener, Milton’s Warring Angels: a Study of Critical Engagements’. In: English Language Notes 36:3 (March 1999): 82-85, ISSN 00138282
  50. David Norbrook, Writing the English Republic. In: Milton Quarterly 34:1 (March 2000): 25-29, ISSN 0026-4326
  51. Catherine Maxwell, The Female Sublime from Milton to Swinburne: Bearing Blindness. In: The Tennyson Research Bulletin 7:5 (November 2001): 270-272, ISSN 0082-2841
  52. Jennifer Fraser, Rite of Passage in the Narratives of Dante and Joyce. In: Canadian Review of Comparative Literature/Revue Canadienne de Littérature Comparée
  53. Zoe Waxman, Writing the Holocaust: Identity, Testimony, Representation. In: The Journal of Jewish Culture and History
  54. 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
  55. Robert Pogue Harrison, Juvenescence (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2015). In: Children’s Literature 46 (2016): 284-92.
  56. Jonathan Culler, Theory of the Lyric (Cambridge, MASS: Harvard University Press, 2015). In Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture, Dec 2016.
  57. Marie-Luise Egbert (ed.). The Life of Birds in Literature (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2015). In: Anglia/Journal of English Philology 135/1 (March 2017).*
    Theatre Reviews and other writing
  58. ‘Theatre in Prague, Past and Present’, Contemporary Review 262 (January 1993), pp. 32-39, ISSN 0010/7565
  59. ‘Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe’, review article in Divadelni Noviny, Prague (September, 1992)
  60. ‘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
  61. Theatre Reviews for Plays and Players and The Oxford Times (1992-93)
  62. ‘Prague Impromptu’ (memoire) Exeter College Association Register 1992, pp. 61-67
  63. ‘The unchosen’ (poem), 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, Audio Lectures and Public Interviews

  64. Living Literature, the Classics and You: Milton’s Paradise Lost. Educational video for Governors State University Education Series (Illinois, 1994).
  65. Kiddult Fiction. Educational video for University of Sheffield (2002).
  66. ‘Hell in Contemporary Literature and Film.’ Interview for Odyssey, Chicago Public Radio (4 March 2005).
  67. ‘The history of Hell and its contemporary relevance.’ Interview for The Current, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC Radio 1 (9 April 2007).
  68. ‘The Crossover Novel.’ CILIP Education Librarians Group (21 April 2008)
  69. ‘How to be Creative’. Interview for Professor Noel Sharkey’s ‘The Sound of Science’ Programme, Sheffield Live! (93.2FM; 10 April 2009), promoting first event in the 2009 Sheffield Arts-Science Encounters.
  70. ‘Heaney and Virgil’. Film interview for Michael Parker, Esther Armstrong and Stephen Regan, A Holding Field: Seamus Heaney and Translation, National Library of Ireland, Dublin (27 Sept 2018).