Calvet, Louis Jean. Roland Barthes: A Biography. Translated by Sarah Wykes. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995. This comprehensive account of Barthes’s life frequently provides connections between Barthes’s biography and his literary production. Includes numerous photographs, a bibliography, and an index.
Culler, Jonathan. Roland Barthes. Bridgewater, N.J.: Replica Books, 2001. A lively and accessible introduction to Barthes, the man and the critic. Contains clear, direct, and insightful discussions.
Freedman, Sanford, and Carole Anne Taylor. Roland Barthes: A Bibliographical Reader’s Guide. New York: Garland, 1983. An extensive Barthes bibliography.
Knight, Diana. Barthes and Utopia: Space, Travel, Writing. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1997. Knight thoroughly examines Barthes’s work, thereby placing his work into larger political and theoretical contexts.
Knight, Diana, ed. Critical Essays on Roland Barthes. Boston: G. K. Hall, 2000. A volume in the series Critical Essays on World Literature.
Lavers, Annette. Roland Barthes: Structuralism and After. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982. A detailed study of Barthes’s literary criticism. Lavers discusses not only Barthes’s thought but also critics who influenced and were influenced by him. Scholarly.
Moriarty, Michael. Roland Barthes. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1991. A lucid introduction to Barthes’s writings, usefully equipped with definitions, illustrations, and relevant contextual background for the benefit of new readers of his work. Includes primary and secondary bibliographies and a brief “Biographical Appendix.”
Payne, Michael. Reading Knowledge: An Introduction to Barthes, Foucault, and Althusser. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 1997. Barthes’s principal works are introduced and carefully examined. Payne also devotes a section to the study of Barthes’s important work S/Z.
Sontag, Susan. “Writing Itself: On Roland Barthes.” In A Barthes Reader. New York: Hill & Wang, 1982. Sontag provides a sympathetic and revealing introduction to Barthes’s thought and an excellent selection of Barthes’s writing. Students who wish to read Barthes might begin here.
Stafford, Andy. Roland Barthes, Phenomenon and Myth: An Intellectual Biography. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press, 1998. Stafford examines the influences on Barthes’s work and how that work was received.
Wasserman, George. Roland Barthes. Boston: Twayne, 1981. A brief biographical section is followed by a critical overview of Barthes’s works. Includes a bibliography, a chronology, and an index.