Cover image for Cyclopedia of world authors II
Cyclopedia of world authors II
Magill, Frank N. (Frank Northen), 1907-1997.
Publication Information:
Pasadena, Calif. : Salem Press, [1989]

Physical Description:
4 volumes (xix, 1640 pages) ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN451 .C93 1989 V.4 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PN451 .C93 1989 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PN451 .C93 1989 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PN451 .C93 1989 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



s The previous edition (1974) is endorsed by Sheehy and BCL3. This work is a companion to the 26 volumes of Masterplots II, giving new and revised biographical profiles of over 700 authors whose works are surveyed there. Each is about 1200 words long. The entries include date and place of birth (and death), background and education, literary career and historical significance, and themes and meanings of the author's major works. Also provides a list of works and date published, and a bibliography of secondary literature. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

This survey of ``705 important modern writers'' was conceived as a companion to Magill's earlier Cyclopedia of World Authors (1974). That may be why it includes some minor and nonliterary writers yet omits such names as Chekhov, Ibsen, Montale, and Pirandello. Almost half the writers are American; over half are living. The biographies are cautiously competent. They discuss reputations as much as they do the works themselves. For undergraduates hankering for still more introductory material, this title could supplement the standard sources. Its format--two closely printed pages per article, with lists of each writer's works and critical references--resembles the St. Martin's series that includes Contemporary Novelists, Contemporary Poets, etc. In content it falls between the Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century (Ungar, 1983. 2d ed.) and H.W. Wilson's ``World Authors'' series.-- Donald Ray, Mercy Coll. Lib., Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Providing information on more than 700 authors selected from Masterplots II and Masterplots Revised Definitive Edition (with some rewritten entries from its predecessor, F.N. Magill's Cyclopedia of World Authors, rev. ed., 1974) this work has notable strengths. Its scope, primarily 20th-century and thoroughly international, is eclectic (if uneven) and extends beyond literary figures to writers as varied as Robert Coles, C.L.R. James, Ned Rorem, Oliver Sacks, and Edward Said. It includes a relatively large number of writers who are young, African-American, or simply little known--in any case often difficult to find in other standard sources. The bibliographic reviews of scholarship which conclude each article are generally good. The entries, running somewhat in excess of a page, also provide a basic biography and a bibliography of major primary material. The critical commentary, varying from one-sentence general characterizations to condensed analyses of several paragraphs, tends to oversimplify, sometimes dangerously. Still, the set is recommended for all types of libraries for its bibliographical notes and, as a source of biographical information, for its sometimes offbeat (rather than inclusive) selections. -S. Lehmann, University of Pennsylvania