Handbooks, guides, and articles on the Harry Potter books have been produced, but there is as yet no sustained discussion of the series as a literary work. Shira Wolosky shows here that the Harry Potter books take part in a rich literary tradition, including allegorical double meanings, mirror images among characters, psychological explorations of family dynamics, political and social critique, and complex moral questions. This book draws readers into deeper meanings of Harry Potter, arguing that the books launch and pursue interpretive quests in an ongoing effort to understand patterns and their attendant meanings, implications, and consequences.
'The Riddles of Harry Potter convincingly argues that Rowling's books are 'carefully crafted literary works, with many layers of meaning.' Wolosky is at her best when analyzing the structural devices and rich wordplay employed by Rowling to underpin the psychological development of her characters and to drive forward a plot that is a mixture of detective novel, teenage adventure, fantasy epic, and mythical morality tale.' - The Chronicle of Higher Education
'At last, an excellent book on Harry Potter! Untrammelled, direct, and illuminating, sophisticated without condescension, The Riddles of Harry Potter reminds readers why they liked the Potter saga in the first place. This book shows Rowling to be, in the best sense, a major writer: meticulously intelligent where she is most droll, engaged deeply with the British literary tradition, a careful ethicist and a sharp chronicler of the great dilemmas, great joys, and great horrors of daily life. Wolosky has written a work of crisp literary intelligence, marking Rowling's debts to Augustine, the Gnostic and Patristic traditions, and to contemporary popular culture. An energetic and subtle braid!' - Jacques Lezra, Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature, New York University, USA