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Leslie Aaron Fiedler (March 8, 1917 – January 29, 2003) was an American literary critic, known for his interest in mythography and his championing of genre fiction. His work also involves the application of psychological theories to American literature. His most renowned work is Love and Death in the American Novel (1960).

Leslie Fiedler
Leslie Fiedler (1967).jpg
Fiedler in 1967 (Photograph: Jac. de Nijs)
Leslie Aaron Fiedler

(1917-03-08)March 8, 1917
DiedJanuary 29, 2003(2003-01-29) (aged 85)


Early yearsEdit

Fiedler was born in Newark, New Jersey, to Jewish parents Lillian and Jacob Fiedler. "Eliezar Aaron" was his original Hebrew name. In his early years, he developed a strong connection to his grandparents,[1]


Fiedler was offered a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University by the Rockefeller Foundation.[2][3]

The 1980s and beyondEdit

In the 1990s, Fiedler's output decreased and new material was sporadic. In 1994, Fiedler received the Hubbell Medal for lifetime contribution to the study of literature. In 1998, Fiedler was given the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. On January 29, 2003, a month before his 86th birthday, he died in Buffalo, where he is buried at the Forest Lawn Cemetery.[4]


  • "Come Back to the Raft Ag'in, Huck Honey!" (1948)
  • An End to Innocence: Essays on Culture and Politics (1955)
  • Whitman (1959) (editor)
  • The Jew in the American Novel (1959) Herzl Institute pamphlet
  • No! In Thunder: Essays on Myth and Literature (1960)
  • Love and Death in the American Novel (1960)
  • Nude Croquet (1960) (stories, with others)
  • The Riddle of Shakespeare's Sonnets (1962) with R. P. Blackmur, Northrop Frye, Edward Hubler, Stephen Spender, Oscar Wilde
  • Pull Down Vanity (1962) stories
  • The Second Stone: A Love Story (1963) novel
  • A Literary Guide to Seduction (1963) with Robert Meister
  • The Continuing Debate: Essays on Education for Freshmen (1964) with Jacob Vinocur
  • Waiting for the End: The American Literary Scene from Hemingway to Baldwin (1964)
  • Back to China (1965) novel
  • The Last Jew in America (1966) stories
  • The Return of the Vanishing American (1968)
  • O Brave New World: American Literature from 16001840 (1968) editor with Arthur Zeiger, City University of New York.
  • Being Busted (1969)
  • Nude Croquet: The Stories (1969)
  • The Art of the Essay (1969) editor
  • Cross the Border–Close the Gap (1972),
  • Unfinished Business (1972) essays
  • Collected Essays of Leslie Fiedler (1972)
  • To the Gentiles (1972)
  • The Stranger in Shakespeare (1972)
  • Beyond The Looking Glass: Extraordinary Works of Fairy Tale and Fantasy (1973) editor, with Jonathan Cott
  • "Rebirth of God, The Death of Man", an essay in Salmagundi: A Quarterly of the Humanities & Social Sciences, Winter, 1973, No. 21, pp. 3–27.
  • The Messengers Will Come No More (1974)
  • In Dreams Awake: A Historical-Critical Anthology of Science Fiction (1975, editor): a "historical-critical" anthology with "provocative introduction and commentary" (Scholes[5])
  • A Fiedler Reader (1977)
  • The Inadvertent Epic: From Uncle Tom's Cabin to Roots (1978) Massey Lecture
  • Freaks: Myths and Images of the Secret Self (1978)
  • English Literature: Opening Up the Canon, Selected Papers from the English Institute, 1979, New Series #4, edited by Leslie A. Fiedler and Houston A. Baker Jr., Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981.
  • What was literature?: Class Culture And Mass Society (1982)
  • Buffalo Bill and the Wild West (1982)
  • Olaf Stapledon: A Man Divided (1983)
  • Fiedler on the Roof: Essays on Literature and Jewish Identity (1991)
  • The Tyranny of the Normal: Essays on Bioethics, Theology & Myth (1996)
  • A New Fiedler Reader (1999)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Cronin, Gloria L.; Berger, Alan L. (2015-04-22). Encyclopedia of Jewish-American Literature. Infobase Learning. ISBN 9781438140612.
  2. ^ "Leslie A. Fiedler | American literary critic". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  3. ^ "Leslie A. Fiedler". Poetry Foundation. 2017-04-27. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  4. ^ Find A Grave Retrieved 2013-10-27
  5. ^ Scholes, Robert; Rabkin, Eric S. (1977). "Bibliography I: History and Criticism of Science Fiction". Science Fiction: History, Science, Vision. London: Oxford University Press.


  • Mark Roydon Winchell (1985) Leslie Fiedler
  • S. G. Kellman and Irving Malin, editors (1999) Leslie Fiedler and American Culture
  • Mark Roydon Winchell (2002) "Too Good to Be True": The Life and Work of Leslie Fiedler

External linksEdit