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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Dr Rachel Lister


Rachel Lister has a BA, MA, PGCE and PhD in English from Durham University, where she teaches part time. She is also a tutor for arts and humanities courses for the Open University. Her research interests include American Fiction, Women's Writing, Regionalism, Narratology and Form. She is particularly interested in the short story and the short-story cycle. She has published two books: Reading Toni Morrison, an examination of Morrison's novels and their engagement with contemporary issues and popular culture, and Alice Walker: The Color Purple: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism. Other publications include articles on the short stories of Katherine Anne Porter and Grace Paley and on gender politics in the story cycles of Eudora Welty and Joyce Carol Oates. Her Bakhtinian reading of Louise Erdrich's later novels appeared in Studies in the Literary Achievement of Louise Erdrich. Her essay on A.S. Byatt's Matisse Stories will appear in a forthcoming book on the international short-story cycle.


Books: authored

  • Lister, Rachel. 2010. Alice Walker: The Color Purple: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan.
  • Lister, Rachel 2009. Reading Toni Morrison. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

Essays in edited volumes

  • Lister, Rachel. 2009. "Power from the In-between": Dialogic Encounters in 'The Antelope Wife' and 'The Last Reports on the Miracles at Little No Horse.' In Studies in the Literary Achievement of Louise Erdrich: Fifteen Critical Essays. Sawhney, Brajesh. Lampeter: Mellen. 213-33.
  • Lister, Rachel. 2008. '"Beyond Human Reach: Silence and Contiguity in Katherine Anne Porter's "Holiday" and "He"'. In Scribbling Women and the Short Story Form: Approaches by American and British Women Writers. Harrington, Ellen Burton. New York: Peter Lang. 128-141.
  • Lister, Rachel 2008. 'Chick Lit'. In Books and Beyond: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of New Reading in America. Womack, Kenneth Westport, CT: Greenwood. 137-161.

Journal papers: academic


  • Lister, Rachel. Rev. of James Baldwin and Toni Morrison: Comparative Critical and Theoretical Essays. MELUS 36.2 Summer 2010: 196-8.

Fiction: Short Stories

  • 'Exposure.' Mslexia. 44 Jan/Mar 2010: 38-44.