20th Century American Novel and Short Story
The Broom of the System
Paperback ISBN: 0143129449
Published when Wallace was just twenty-four years old, The Broom of the System stunned critics and marked the emergence of an extraordinary new talent. At the center of this outlandishly funny, fiercely intelligent novel is the bewitching heroine, Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman. The year is 1990 and the place is a slightly altered Cleveland, Ohio. Lenore’s great-grandmother has disappeared with twenty-five other inmates of the Shaker Heights Nursing Home. Her beau, and boss, Rick Vigorous, is insanely jealous, and her cockatiel, Vlad the Impaler, has suddenly started spouting a mixture of psycho-babble, Auden, and the King James Bible. Ingenious and entertaining, this debut from one of the most innovative writers of his generation brilliantly explores the paradoxes of language, storytelling, and reality.
The Professor's House
Paperback ISBN: 0679731806
A study in emotional dislocation and renewal--Professor Godfrey St. Peter, a man in his 50's, has achieved what would seem to be remarkable success. When called on to move to a more comfortable home, something in him rebels.
Paperback ISBN: 0679732489
Roy DIllon seems too handsome and well-mannered to be a professional con man. Lilly Dillon looks too young--and loves Roy a little too intensely--to be taken for his mother. Moira Langtry is getting too old to keep on living off the kindness of male strangers. And Carol Roberg seems too innocent to be acquainted with suffering.
Nothing but the Night
Paperback ISBN: 1681373076
Stoner author John Williams's first novelis a searing look ata man's relationship with his absent father, and how early trauma manifests throughout one's life John Williams’s first novel is a brooding psychological noir. Arthur Maxley is a young man at the end of his emotional rope. Having dropped out of college, he’s holed up in a big-city hotel, living off an allowance from his family, feeling nothing but alone and doing nothing but drinking to forget it. What’s brought him to this point? Something is troubling him, something is haunting him, something he cannot bring himself either to face or to turn away from. And now his father has come to town, a hail-fellow-well-met kind of guy. They’ve been estranged for years, and yet Arthur wants to meet—and so he does, reeling away from the encounter for a night of drinking and dancing and a final reckoning with the traumatizing past that readers will not soon forget. This edition of Nothing but the Night includes an interview with Nancy Gardner Williams, the author’s widow.
Clark Gifford's Body
Paperback ISBN: 1590171829
Back in Print After Fifty Years “I have not developed the habit of reading thrillers, but I have read enough of them to know that from now on Mr. Fearing is my man.”–The New Yorker Is there such a thing as political noir? The Manchurian Candidate might qualify. So might some of the novels of Don DeLillo. But the precursor to them all is perhaps this next-to-unknown 1942 novel by the maverick master Kenneth Fearing, best known for his ingenious tale of detection, The Big Clock. Fearing’s title echoes that great anthem of the dispossessed, John Brown’s Body. But Clark Gifford is no John Brown. He is a disaffected politician in a nameless but thoroughly familiar media-driven modern state where representative politics has dwindled to the corrupt transaction of business as usual and a foreign war is always breaking out on the horizon. One night Gifford and some of his followers seize radio stations to broadcast a call for freedom. Nobody pays attention except the government. The troops quickly suppress the uprising and capture its leader–yet the rebellion will lead to twenty years of war. Fearing’s novel skips freely through those years, interspersing newspaper clippings and court transcripts with the reactions and reminiscences of the politicians, generals, businessmen, journalists, waiters, and soldiers who double as the actors and the chorus in a drama over which, finally, they have no control. Who here is leading? Who is being led? Fearing creates a pseudo-documentary of a world given over to pseudo-politics and pseudo-events, and all the more deadly for that. In such a world, a world far closer to the one we live in now than that of Orwell’s 1984, what counts is not the truth but the story that’s on record. Because in the end, as Fearing says, “the story alone is the true thing.” Out of print for over fifty years, Clark Gifford’s Body is a prophetic glimpse of the future as a poisonous fog.