Press Release

B&H acquires acclaimed author Karen Swallow Prior to edit classic literature series


May 17th

B&H acquires acclaimed author Karen Swallow Prior to edit classic literature series

Series will guide readers on how to understand each work from a Christian worldview

B&H Publishing is proud to announce its acquisition of acclaimed author and award-winning English professor Karen Swallow Prior.

Though many are familiar with and perhaps can even recite quotes from classic literature such as “Sense and Sensibility,” “Frankenstein” or “The Scarlet Letter,” many adults don’t know how to read them and likely haven’t picked them up since their high school English class.

To that end, Prior will pen a beautifully-designed literature series for B&H that guides readers through a selection of the classics, helps them navigate the pitfalls that often trap readers and shows them how to read each work in light of the gospel and to the glory of God. The first books to release will be “Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austen and “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad in March of 2020.

Prior is editing each volume, adding an introduction to guide the reader on how to read it and adding supplemental information.

Forthcoming titles (not final, subject to change) in the series are: “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley and “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte, “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne and “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy.

“I’ve been teaching literature to college students for nearly 30 years. I’ve often been told by people who’ve not had the chance to take a class with me that they wish they could. And, likewise, I have often wished to be able to expand my teaching to readers outside the classroom walls,” Prior said.

“Writing introductions to a few of the works I love and teach most will do just this. I hope through this series to assist general readers to achieve greater understanding and appreciation of, not only these selected works, but also the vast world of classic literary works beyond these titles as well. Reading such books can be challenging at first, but reading well is a skill like any other—one that can be learned and improved with experience and practice. And it’s enjoyable, too!”

Prior’s previous books include “Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me” (T. S. Poetry Press, 2012), “Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist” (Thomas Nelson, 2014) and most recently, “On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Literature” (Brazos, 2018). Her writing has appeared at “Christianity Today,” “The Washington Post,” “The Atlantic,” The Gospel Coalition, BreakPoint, “Think Christian,” “Comment,” “Relevant” and “Books and Culture.” She has spoken at numerous writing conferences including the Festival of Faith and Writing and the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference.

“We are thrilled to partner with the esteemed Karen Swallow Prior on this literature series, which we pray will help readers both better understand these classics texts and see God’s truth and beauty in each work,” said Jennifer Lyell, V.P. of Book Publishing and Merchandising. “There is no one better to compile and edit these than Karen; I know her editorial insight will inspire a new generation of readers to fall in love with the classics.”

Prior’s contract was negotiated by Clarissa Dufresne, B&H publisher for specialty products, with worldwide rights. For more information, visit


Karen Swallow Prior is an award-winning professor of English at Liberty University. She earned her Ph.D. in English at SUNY Buffalo. Her writing has appeared at “The Atlantic,” “Christianity Today,” “The Washington Post,” Vox, “First Things,” “Sojourners,” “Relevant,” “Think Christian” and other places. She is a Senior Fellow at the Trinity Forum, a Research Fellow with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, a Senior Fellow at Liberty University’s Center for Apologetics and Cultural Engagement and a member of the Faith Advisory Council of the Humane Society of the United States. She and her husband live on a 100-year-old homestead in central Virginia with sundry horses, dogs and chickens. And lots of books.