Lars Arffsen (Lawrence Douglas)

The Girl with the Sturgeon Tattoo
(St. Martin's Press, 2011, 208 pages)

Arguably the funniest novel to emerge from Northern Europe since the Black Death

A reindeer strangler has struck again; the world’s leading authority on Baltic sturgeon has been filleted, and the head of Sweden’s only unpublished thriller writer has been discovered some meters from his body.

Just a typical day in Stockholm’s crime log? Or are the murders the works of a single killer? Chief Inspector Svenjamin Bubbles has a suspect: Lizzy Salamander, Scandinavia’s most heavily tattooed girl-sociopath and hacker extraordinaire.


Lawrence Douglas

The Vices
(Other Press, 2011, 352 pages)

“In its deft exploration of the way identity, especially Jewish identity, is constructed and performed, The Vices does justice to its elegant Nabokovian inspiration.” —Adam Kirsch, Tablet Magazine
“A good summer read…Making literal the phrase ‘literary sleuthing,’ [The Vices] combines the genres of academic and mystery novel.” —The Buffalo News

“Douglas delivers a probing and skillful examination of the conundrums of identity…masterfully kaleidoscopic…[The Vices] presents the reader with a stunning new vista.” —Publishers Weekly
“An intriguing, thought-provoking exploration of a man desperately unhappy to be living his own life.” —Booklist
“Darkly comic…[Douglas] masterly crafts a family portrait, where the paint has cracked to reveal human truths.” —Royal Young,

Sense and Nonsensibility

Lawrence Douglas and Alexander George

Sense and Nonsensibility: Lampoons of Learning and Literature
(Simon and Schuster, August 2004, 182 pages)

"Hilarious...Most anyone who has spent any time in the worlds of literature and the academy will laugh..."

-- Publishers Weekly

"Monty Python meets Imanuel Kant. Douglas and George have a delicious sense of the absurd."

-- Anders Henriksson, author of Non Campus Mentis
The Catastrophist

Lawrence Douglas

The Catastrophist
(The Other Press, May 2006)

"An acerbic comedy of manners with serious issues (responsibility and veracity in both marital and global relationships) at its solid core"

-- Kirkus Reviews [starred review]

" its literary quality combined with entertaining plot, The Catastrophist achieves a deft balance many novelists seek. You leave the book looking forward to more fiction from Lawrence Douglas."

-- Daily Hampshire Gazette

"In this darkly comic, thought-provoking novel, Lawrence Douglas mixes academic satire with a sobering look at the complexities and/or catastrophes of middle age. With its many moments of searing insight, as well as moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity, it is clear at all times that we are in the hands of a gifted storyteller. The propulsive energy never wanes, and the novel shines with a keen intelligence and wit on every page."

-- Frederick Reiken, author of The Lost Legends of New Jersey

"This entertaining tale of the wild misadventures of a contemporary American Lucky Jim should make any reader think twice before marrying, becoming a professor, attending an academic conference, or telling a lie about his past."

-- Alison Lurie, author of Truth and Consequences

" The Catastrophist is as mercilessly witty as its title. It's the reader's pleasure to see how things continue to go wrong in the life of Professor Daniel Ben Wellington--pleasure created by a literary style that works on every page and almost every paragraph to make something surprising and original."

-- William H. Pritchard, author of Shelf Life
Memory of Judgment

Lawrence Douglas

The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust
(Yale University Press, New Haven, 2001)

"The Memory of Judgment is an impressively thoughtful work, important not merely for what it reveals about how the Shoah has been figured in post-war Wetern jurisprudence, but more generally, about the possibilities and limitations of a criminal trial as an instrument of historical understanding and commemorative pedagogy."

-- Michael Andre Bernstein, Times Literary Supplement

"[Th]is excellent book will be of great value to historians, legal scholars and all those who want to understand the potential and limits of judging past and present crimes against humanity."

-- Omer Bartov, The American Historical Review
Lives in the Law

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

Lives in the Law

"Lives in the Law is a provocative collection of essays considering from a variety of perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds the myriad ways in which legal categories come to constitute the lives and identities of people and groups."

-- Paul Schiff Berman, University of Connecticut School of Law
The Place of Law

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

The Place of Law

"Recent scholarship has rediscovered the spatial dimension of society. This volume brings together some of the leading lights of that revival with some of the most innovative scholars in sociolegal studies, to reconsider the place of law and law's capacity to put people in their place. At a time when power relentlessly promotes a generic version of the rule of law as a mandatory salvation for all peoples and places, The Place of Law offers a vital rejoinder."

-Jonathan Simon, University of California, Berkeley

"The Place of Law is a worthy successor to an outstanding series of edited collections on law and culture. The essays range from the Stalinist Soviet Union to the scientific laboratory, from the Internet to the nation-state and back; they explore why places and metaphors of places seem to matter so much to law, and how new structures of freedom may produce new forms of control."

-Jack M. Balkin, Yale Law School
Law's Madness

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

Law's Madness

"A thoroughly engaging collection of essays that plumbs the nuances of an important topic. While many have observed law's role as a bulwark against passion and chaos, the essays in Law's Madness suggest that law and madness actually constitute each other. Thus, what we think of as 'law' always emerges from the unstable effort to distinguish official legal doctrine from that which is repressed as something other than law. This book will be a 'must have' for numerous scholars interested in interdisciplinary examinations of law, from sociolegal studies to law and humanities to legal behavioralism."

-Paul Schiff Berman, University of Connecticut School of Law
The Limits of Law

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

The Limits of Law

This collection brings together well-established scholars to examine the limits of law, a topic that has been of broad interest since the events of 9/11 and the responses of U.S. law and policy to those events. The limiting conditions explored in this volume include marking law's relationship to acts of terror, states of emergency, gestures of surrender, payments of reparations, offers of amnesty, and invocations of retroactivity. These essays explore how law is challenged, frayed, and constituted out of contact with conditions that lie at the farthest reaches of its empirical and normative force.

-- Stanford University Press 2005

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey


"[An} interesting collection, worthy of attention by scholars in a variety of fields."—CHOICE

“Law and the Sacred brings together original and stimulating interdisciplinary work on the complex interdependence of law and religion. Indeed, the authors expand well beyond simple categories of law and religion to explore the more interesting and novel nuances of laws of the sacred and the sacrilization of law.”—David Mednicoff, University of Massachusetts

"The essays in this volume push well beyond the boundaries of more familiar research on the relationship between politics and religion. Exploring topics as diverse as Islamic legal theory, the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Kafka's The Trial, and the contemporary constitution of sovereign political power, the contributors call into question any easy opposition between the sacred and the secular, and so unsettle a central myth of Enlightenment modernism."—Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn, Whitman College

Stanford University Press 2006
Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

How Law Knows

“This work raises new questions while also reexamining standard socio-legal issues in refreshing ways. The result is a rich and innovative look at the routines of truth seeking and fact finding.”—Patricia Ewick, Clark University

“How Law Knows is a useful and interesting collection addressing law’s ways of knowing. The authors reveal that the establishment and organized use of legal facts is varied, historical, and amenable to a rich and diverse set of methods of inquiry.”—Jon Goldberg-Hiller, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Stanford University Press 2006 
Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey


"Law and Catastrophe is an edited collection that explores this inextricable and symbiotic relationship between these two concepts in the short span of five chapters. It presents to the reader a witty and often engaging group of literary essays that dissect various guises of how law and catastrophe interpenetrate."—Law and Politics Book Review

"Law and Catastrophe offers a diverse and fascinating set of essays. There has never been a more urgent need for such a work on catastrophe and law." —Anthony J. Sebok, Brooklyn Law School

"This cogent work is based on the insight that, even when it proves itself palpably unable to deal with catastrophe, law can yet reassert itself, reproducing the bases of its authority over and over again. Indeed, this very act of reassertion is revealed to be the basis of legal authority itself. This book is a must read for any scholar interested in seeing the performance of law when its veneer of total control and stability have been stripped away." —James R. Martel, San Francisco State University

Stanford University Press 2007