Skip to main content
Cover for The Art of Subtext

The Art of Subtext

Beyond Plot (Art of...)

Charles Baxter


List Price: 14.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Charles Baxter inaugurates The Art of, a new series on the craft of writing, with the wit and intelligence he brought to his celebrated book Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction.

Fiction writer and essayist Charles Baxter's The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot discusses and illustrates the hidden subtextual overtones and undertones in fictional works haunted by the unspoken, the suppressed, and the secreted. Using an array of examples from Melville and Dostoyevsky to contemporary writers Paula Fox, Edward P. Jones, and Lorrie Moore, Baxter explains how fiction writers create those visible and invisible details, how what is displayed evokes what is not displayed.

The Art of Subtext is part of The Art of series, a new line of books by important authors on the craft of writing, edited by Charles Baxter. Each book examines a singular, but often assumed or neglected, issue facing the contemporary writer of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. The Art of series means to restore the art of criticism while illuminating the art of writing.

Praise For The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot (Art of...)

“Baxter is smart about all aspects of craft.” —The Corresponder

“A wonderful new volume about writing that's also about reading and the ways we make meaning in our lives.” —The Observer

Graywolf Press, 9781555974732, 120pp.

Publication Date: July 24, 2007

About the Author

CHARLES BAXTER is the author of ten books, including The Feast of Love, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction. He teaches at the University of Minnesota and lives in Minneapolis.