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by Steven Moore

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Before he embarked on his massive history of the novel, Steven Moore was best known as a tireless promoter of innovative fiction, mostly by way of hundreds of book reviews published from the late 1970s onward. Virtually all have been gathered for this collection, which offers a panoramic view of modern fiction, ranging from well-known authors like Barth and Pynchon to lesser-known but deserving ones, many published by small presses. Moore also reviews dozens of critical studies of this fiction, and takes some side trips into rock music and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The second half of the book reprints Moore’s best essays. Several deal with novelist William Gaddis — on whom Moore is considered the leading authority — and other writers associated with him (Chandler Brossard, Alan Ansen, David Markson, Sheri Martinelli), all of which have been updated for this collection. Others champion such writers as Alexander Theroux, Brigid Brophy, Edward Dahlberg, Carole Maso, W. M. Spackman, and Rikki Ducornet. Two essays deal with the late David Foster Wallace, whom Moore knew, and others treat such matters as book reviewing, postmodernism, the Beat movement, maximalism, gay literature, punctuation, nympholepsy, and the history of the novel.

STEVEN MOORE (PhD Rutgers, 1988) is the author/editor of several books on William Gaddis, as well as of The Novel: An Alternative History (2010, 2013). From 1988 to 1996 he was managing editor of the Review of Contemporary Fiction/Dalkey Archive Press.

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