Book Reviews All The Way Down
November 30, 2012 12:16 PM   Subscribe

"Book review" typically refers to the review of a single book. Is there a term for a single article that reviews the collective works of an author?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow to Writing & Language (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A critical retrospective?
posted by zadcat at 12:20 PM on November 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

More generally, I suppose you might refer to something like an "author profile" (which sounds like a feature article) or a "literature review" (a scholarly term more commonly used to describe an article summarizing existing published research articles in an area of study). In the latter case, then, the author would be the topic in question.
posted by Madamina at 12:21 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think it would depend on how such an article was structured and what the scope of it was.

If it was an opinion piece that included individual reviews of all of said author's work, that would probably be more of a listicle.

If it was an piece that gave review-style opinions on the author's oeuvre, but as one cohesive thing, not individually -- e.g. "Dave Eggers: Way Overrated Because Reasons" or whatever, I'd tend to call that an editorial, I guess? Or a piece of literary criticism? Though "literary criticism" is also what people like Derrida did, so maybe not the best term for it.

If it's less an opinion piece and more an article about the author's various works -- perhaps with weasel-wordy veiled opinionish stuff like "X is generally considered her magnum opus", or whatever -- I'd consider that a feature article.
posted by Sara C. at 12:22 PM on November 30, 2012

I was going to suggest retrospective, possibly combined with another word like career or critical, as zadcat suggests.
posted by the foreground at 12:27 PM on November 30, 2012

I propose a new term -- oeuvreview -- which is a portmanteau of oeuvre and review.

Seriously, though, I think that Madamina is right. "Author profile" or "literary review" would seem to be the two most likely terms.
posted by asnider at 12:27 PM on November 30, 2012 [8 favorites]

posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 12:43 PM on November 30, 2012

An Omibus Review?
posted by fncll at 12:53 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

review essay
posted by facetious at 12:54 PM on November 30, 2012

An opus critique?
posted by guy72277 at 1:00 PM on November 30, 2012

"review essay," right?
posted by .kobayashi. at 1:01 PM on November 30, 2012

"Review essay" is the phrase for a review-style piece that covers more than one book.
posted by RogerB at 1:16 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by sparklemotion at 5:55 PM on November 30, 2012

'Overview' is what I'd call that. (I really like asnider's proposed 'oeuvreview' though!)
posted by tomboko at 11:50 AM on December 1, 2012

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