One of America’s foremost novelists and critics, Cynthia Ozick has won praise and provoked debate for taking on challenging literary, historical, and moral issues. Her new collection of spirited essays focuses on the essential joys of great literature, with particular emphasis on the novel. With razor-sharp wit and an inspiring joie de vivre, she investigates unexpected byways in the works of Leo Tolstoy, Saul Bellow, Helen Keller, Isaac Babel, Sylvia Plath, Susan Sontag, and others. In a posthumous and hilariously harassing “(Unfortunate) Interview with Henry James,” Ozick’s hero is shocked by a lady reporter. In “Highbrow Blues” and in reflections on her own early fiction, she writes intimately of “the din in our heads, that relentless inner hum,” and the curative power of literary imagination. The Din in the Head is sure to please fans of Ozick, win her new readers, and excite critical controversy and acclaim.