Peter Brooks is the author of several books, including the nonfiction volumes The Melodramatic Imagination, Reading for the Plot, Psychoanalysis and Storytelling, Troubling Confessions, Realist Vision, Henry James Goes to Paris, and Flaubert in the Ruins of Paris, as well as two novels, World Elsewhere and The Emperor's Body. He published Balzac's Lives with New York Review Books in 2020, and has edited two NYRB Classics, Balzac's The Human Comedy- Selected Stories and Vivant Denon's No Tomorrow. He is Sterling Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Yale.
"A bracing and insightful look at the downsides of reducing
everything to storytelling. . . A thoughtful and revelatory
analysis of what's lost when story trumps all." -Publishers
"For writers, readers, and citizens of the story-addled world." -Emily Temple, Lit Hub
"A rhapsody to the partial suspension of disbelief that allows us to immerse ourselves in novels, but simultaneously and most crucially, a brilliant intervention against the complete suspension of disbelief that allows a citizenry to succumb to conspiracy theories, false-flag narratives, authoritarian fictions. An eloquent and triumphant culmination of Peter Brooks's lifelong inquiry into the aesthetic and ethical intersection of literature, psychoanalysis, law, and politics. Impossibly good." -David Shields
"Stories are everywhere-shaping us, shocking us, showing us what really happened (or making it up). Peter Brooks invites us to step to one side of our over-storied surroundings to think about all the ways they work. . . . In the process, he tells a gripping tale of his own." -Rachel Bowlby
"This is an amazing book, crossing back and forth between literature and politics, illuminating each side by the other. It is written without fuss, continually evocative and surprising." -Richard Sennett