Mark Harris William J. Schafer - Essay

William J. Schafer

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Mark Harris, over the past thirty years, has produced a large group of fine novels, too many to survey easily in one essay. His work has garnered good reviews and some general reputation; he is known as an exceptional essayist and journalist, and he has taught creative writing for years in San Francisco and in the Midwest. Yet his work is rarely discussed in surveys of "new" fiction or promising writers; he is rarely grouped with the Jewish writers of the 1950's renaissance and has seemed to work in isolation from a critical audience…. [But] all through the 1950's and '60's Mark Harris worked his own individual territory, explored the intricate maze in the heart of America, and wrote some of the finest comic fiction...

(The entire section is 2734 words.)