Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction

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9781555975081: Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction

Graywolf reissues one of its most successful essay collections with two new essays and a new foreword by Charles Baxter

As much a rumination on the state of literature as a technical manual for aspiring writers, Burning Down the House has been enjoyed by readers and taught in classrooms for more than a decade. Readers are rewarded with thoughtful analysis, humorous one-liners, and plenty of brushfires that continue burning long after the book is closed.

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Review:

For fiction lovers, history and social commentary on the genre is a thought-provoking addition to reading. Novelist Charles Baxter's essays on contemporary fiction dissect the connections between life, values, and art with unerring and insightful precision. Baxter compares the dysfunction in contemporary fiction to the removal of the villain from politics. He decries the prostituting of epiphany as a commercial product that turns fiction into a pseudo-instruction manual, and he reveals the magic within Donald Barthelme's innovative prose, created with a generosity "almost unseen" in American letters. This is a powerful companion to Baxter's short story collections.

About the Author:

Charles Baxter is the author of ten books, including The Feast of Love, a finalist for the National Book Award, and The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot. He lives in Minneapolis.

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