The Book of Ten Nights and a Night
By John Barth
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780618405664, 304pp.)
Publication Date: April 2004
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John Barth, the postmodern master, is back with his sixteenth book and third collection of stories, which gathers for the first time in one volume stories previously published in various journals. Exploring ideas of narrative frames, stories within stories, and the uncanny power that language has in our lives, he offers the thrilling blend of playfulness and illuminating insight that has marked him as one of America’s most distinguished writers.
Here are tales of aging, time, possibility, and relationships. And in typically Barthian fashion, they are framed by the narration of a veteran writer, Graybard, and his flirtatious, insouciant muse, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). During the eleven days that follow September 11, 2001, Graybard and WYSIWYG debate the meaning and relevance of writing and storytelling in the wake of disaster, or TEOTWAW(A)KI The End Of The World As We (Americans) Know It.
The Book of Ten Nights and a Night is vintage Barth, sure to appeal to his loyal fans and find new readers touched by his irreverent but deeply human perspective on how writers can respond to the emotional and ethical demands of tragic events.
JOHN BARTH's fiction has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, and the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. For many years he taught in the writing seminars at John Hopkins University. He is the author of such seminal works as The Sot-Weed Factor, Chimera (for which he won the NBA), and Giles Goat-Boy.
"A moving epiphany about writing, living, breathing in the face of the ultimate terrorist: death and its long shadow." --Michael Agger The New York Times Book Review