Magill's Literary Annual, 2009, is the fifty fifth publication in a series that began in 1954. Critical essays for the first twenty two years were collected and published in the twelve volume Survey of Contemporary Literature in 1977; since then, yearly sets have been published. Each year, Magill's Literary Annual, 2009 seeks to evaluate critically 200 major examples of serious literature, both fiction and nonfiction, published during the previous calendar year. The philosophy behind our selection process is to cover works that are likely to be of interest to general readers, that reflect publishing trends, that add to the careers of authors being taught and researched in literature programs, and that will stand the test of time. By filtering the thousands of books published every year down to 200 notable titles, the editors have provided the busy librarian with an excellent reader's advisory tool and patrons with fodder for book discussion groups and a guide for choosing worthwhile reading material. The essay reviews in the Annual provide a more academic, "reference" review of a work than is typically found in newspapers and other periodical sources.
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