Nicolas Tredell

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Critical Insights: In Cold Blood (Amenia, NJ. Salem Press: Grey House, 2020)

Truman Capote’s compelling and harrowing account of the murder of the Clutter family and the subsequent trial and execution of the killers made a huge impact when first published in 1965, and continues to provoke controversy, find readers, and generate critical debate. This volume offers a rich range of perspectives on Capote’s major work, exploring it as a “non-fiction novel” and as a “true crime” story, tracing its reception by reviewers, critics and the general public, discussing its impact on the real-life community and individuals it describes, and examining the crucial ethical, judicial and penal issues it raises.

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Critical Insights: The Kite Runner (Amenia, NJ. Salem Press: Grey House, 2020).

Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner combines a compelling, moving narrative, memorable characters and situations, powerful depictions of suffering and guilt, an urgent quest for redemption, and an intense engagement with the fraught and complex history and politics of Afghanistan and its relations with American culture.


Critical Insights: A Midsummer Night's Dream. (Amenia, NY. Salem Press: Grey House, 2020).

Shakespeare's best-known, most-loved and sometimes controversial comedy is an intricately structured drama that employs a rich range of poetry and prose to juxtapose fairies and mortals, artisans and aristocrats, court and forest, fantasy and reality, reason and madness. This volume offers a variety of new perspectives on its critical history, complex form, rich language, key themes, and the many theatrical and cinematic versions it has generated.


Conversations with Critics; Nicolas Tredell interviews John Barrell; Catherine Belsey; Bernard Bergonzi; Christine Brooke-Rose; David Caute; Brian Cox; Donald Davie; Terry Eagleton; Stephen Heath; Robert Hewison; Philip Hobsbaum; Lisa Jardine CBE; Sir Frank Kermode; Colin MacCabe; Karl Miller; Sir Roger Scruton; C. H. Sisson CH; George Steiner; Raymond Tallis; Dame Marina Warner (Singapore and Great Britain: Verbivoracious Press, 2015)

Veteran critic Nicolas Tredell has been conversing with fellow critics for over three decades. This revised and expanded volume contains twenty interviews with Britain’s leading intellectuals, academics, and exploratory novelists and poets, covering the period between 1990-2004. From conversations ranging from the seismic shift in teaching attitudes in the universities from the sixties to the nineties, to the impact of French theorists and the Tel Quel set on literary theory, to the influence of the Catholic Church in relation to literature and culture, to the collapse of communism and the rise of postmodernism, to a range of discussions on each writer’s methods, approaches, and influences, Conversations with Critics is a lively and enthralling book rich in plentiful discourse. In a fresh introduction, Tredell muses on the changes digital media has wrought on the art of the interview, along with the rise of the neoliberal university replacing the liberal humanist model, and the place of art in this corporate superstructure'. Verbivoracious Press

Praise for the original volume:


a 'scrupulously researched ... anthology of 20 lengthy and fascinating conversations with prominent literary figures'. Isobel Armstrong, Times Educational Supplement 

'as entertaining a guide to contemporary critical debates as one could hope for ... [Tredell's] questions are informed, explicit and seek always to connect specific issues to overall literary and political contexts'. Mark Ford, Times Literary Supplement




Cinemas of the Mind: A Critical History of Film Theory (Duxford, Cambridge: Icon, 2002)

a 'resourceful and stimulating study of classical and recent film theory ... an invaluable work'. John Conomos, Screening the Past




'an excellent introduction to the rich history of film theory'. Nicolas Magenham, Cercles


'clear and informative exposition and some nicely chosen stills'. Richard Armstrong, Kamera 03




The Fiction of Martin Amis: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000)

'a useful volume for students ... Tredell makes a good job of selection, editing prudently and generously as required, and splices the extracts together well'. Year's Work in English Studies



William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury / As I Lay Dying: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1999)

'The criticism in this Guide aims to provide a series of suggestions, insights and indicators that will help us to navigate Faulkner's labyrinths and to emerge with a richly enhanced understanding of the styles, structures and multiple meanings of two of his greatest works' (p. 11)



Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1998)

'this book is engaging, lively and scholarly: a rare combination'. Year's Work in English Studies


Charles Dickens, Great Expectations: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1998)

an 'excellent survey of essays, articles and reviews on Great Expectations'. Professor Bernard N. Schilling, The Rain of Years: Great Expectations and the World of Dickens


F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1998)

'trace[s] the novel's critical reputation from 1925 into the 1990s, interweaving Tredell's narrative with generous excerpts from reviews and critical essays'. Jackson R. Bryer, The Cambridge Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald (2002)


.'skilfully imbeds excerpts from reviews, periodical articles and book sections in a narrative of the novel's critical reception and interpretation'. Jackson R. Bryer, Approaches to Teaching Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (2009)