“Hello, this is Paul Chowder, and I’m going to try to tell you everything I know,” says the narrator in the opening of Nicholson Baker’s novel, The Anthologist. Paul is an intermittently published poet and a self-described “study in failure.” His talent is vanishing, his live-in girlfriend has walked out, his dog has fleas, and his editor is getting more and more insistent about that introduction Paul promised for a poetry anthology. Witty, insightful and occasionally poignant, Paul’s lively ruminations about his own life lead him into reflections on the nature of poetry and gossipy, entertaining tidbits about the personal lives of major poets like Theodore Roethke, Louise Bogan, and Elizabeth Bishop. The Anthologist is a book that will engage anyone who loves poetry, or reading or is simply grappling with middle age.
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Added by Pamela Troy on August 27, 2009