Distinguished Professor of English Paul A. Bové’s book Love’s Shadow (Harvard UP 2021) is a finalist for the Christian Gauss Award from the Phi Beta Kappa Society. The Gauss Award honors outstanding books in the field of literary scholarship or criticism. The other finalists are: George Saunders for A Swim in the Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading and Life (Random House), Heather Cass White for Books Promiscuously Read (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), Rebecca Solnit for Orwell’s Roses (Viking) and Farah Jasmine Griffin for Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature (W.W. Norton).
The Boston Globe calls Love’s Shadow “at once a lament for the decline of the humanities and a manifesto on how to save them… Bové’s summons to his fellow academics and aspiring cultural critics [is] to step out of the long shadow of Walter Benjamin’s melancholy and to come into the light reflected by poetry, comedy, and the essay – a more expansive form of expression.” Cornel West describes Love’s Shadow as “an intellectual feast of the highest order. Bové’s monumental work is both magisterial and personal. He holds himself and others to the highest standards of poetic and critical excellence. And he writes with a strong sense of righteous indignation about the failures of the academy, the deterioration of intellectual integrity, and the decay of the life of the mind in our market-driven time.”
For more about the book, listen to an interview with the author on the Being Human Podcast.
The winner of the Christian Gauss Award will be announced in October.