“Novelty, Pattern, and Force in Richard Powers’s Orfeo,” Kathryn Hume, Orbit: A Journal of American Literature. 5(1). January 18, 2017.  Richard Powers’s Orfeo pits novelty against familiar pattern, and explores the destructive effects of forcing something new to fit known patterns in art, science, and politics. The protagonist’s dedication to writing truly new music wrecks his, Read More

“Polyphony beyond the Human: Animals, Music, and Community in Coetzee and Powers,” by Ben de Bruyn, Studies in the Novel, Volume 48, Number 3, Fall 2016 (pp. 364-383). Taking issue with the anthropocentric assumptions behind classic and recent work on sound in the novel, this paper draws attention to animal vocalizations in the writings, Read More

Pluralist Desires: Contemporary Historical Fiction and the End of the Cold War, by Philipp Löffler (Series: European Studies in North American Literature and Culture, Camden House, 2015). Chapter 6: Lukácsian Aesthetics, Self-Creation, and Richard Powers’s Plowing the Dark. Philipp Löffler explores the contemporary historical novel in conjunction with three cultural shifts that have crucially, Read More

 The Biopolitics of Disability: Neoliberalism, Ablenationalism, and Peripheral Embodiment, by David T. Mitchell with Sharon L. Snyder (University of Michigan Press, 2015). Theorizing the role of disabled subjects in global consumer culture and the emergence of alternative crip/queer subjectivities in film, fiction, media, and art. In the neoliberal era, when human worth is measured by its relative utility, Read More

Fictions Inc.: The Corporation in Postmodern Fiction, Film, and Popular Culture, by Ralph Clare (Rutgers University Press, 2014). Fictions Inc. explores how depictions of the corporation in American literature, film, and popular culture have changed over time. Beginning with perhaps the most famous depiction of a corporation—Frank Norris’s The Octopus—Ralph Clare traces this figure as, Read More

The Powers of the False: Reading, Writing, Thinking beyond Truth and Fiction, by Doro Weise (Northwestern University Press, 2014). Can literature make it possible to represent histories that are otherwise ineffable? Making use of the Deleuzian concept of “the powers of the false,” Doro Wiese offers readings of three novels that deal with the, Read More

The Musical Novel: Imitation of Musical Structure, Performance, and Reception in Contemporary Fiction, by Emily Petermann (Camden House, May 2014). The Musical Novel builds upon theories of intermediality and semiotics to analyze the musical structures, forms, and techniques in two groups of musical novels, which serve as case studies. The first group imitates an entire musical, Read More

Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction: Environment and Affect, by Heather Houser (Columbia University Press, 2014). Explores environmental crisis and the sick body in works by David Foster Wallace, Richard Powers, Leslie Marmon Silko, Marge Piercy, Jan Zita Grover, and David Wojnarowicz.

Common features in contemporary American novels, by Alina Polyak (GRIN Verlag, 2013). Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject American Studies – Literature, grade: 1,0, University of Frankfurt (Main), course: Contemporary american novels. Comparison of three novels: : “The Time of our Singing” by Richard Powers, “Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri and “Middlesex” by Jeffrey, Read More

How to Read a Novelist, by John Freeman (FSG Originals, 2013). For the last fifteen years, whenever a novel was published, John Freeman was there to greet it. As a critic for more than two hundred newspapers worldwide, the onetime president of the National Book Critics Circle, and the former editor of Granta, he has reviewed thousands of, Read More

Rewiring the Real: In Conversation with William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, and Don DeLillo, by Mark C. Taylor (Columbia University Press, 2013).  The section on Powers focuses on Plowing the Dark.

Ideas of Order: Narrative Patterns in the Novels of Richard Powers, by Antje Kley and Jan Kucharzewski (Universitätsverlag Winter, 2012). Investigating the distinct poetics of Richard Powers’ writing, this volume demonstrates that the author’s complex body of fictional work warrants much more focused and systematic critical attention than it has received so far. The, Read More