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Lives of the Poets: A Novella and Six Stories (Random House Reader's Circle) Paperback – June 29, 2010
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“Extraordinary beauty and power . . . a book to fall in love with.”—Chicago Tribune Book World
“Better than any fiction I know, Lives of the Poets illuminates the sources from which fiction springs.”—Newsweek
“Doctorow is an impeccable stylist, a man who writes with exceptional clarity and precision.”—Publishers Weekly
“Invaluable . . . Doctorow’s subtlest work of fiction.”—New York Times Book Review
About the Author
E. L. Doctorow’s works of fiction include Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Loon Lake, World’s Fair, Billy Bathgate, The Waterworks, City of God, The March, Homer & Langley, and Andrew’s Brain. Among his honors are the National Book Award, three National Book Critics Circle awards, two PEN/Faulkner awards, and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, honoring a writer’s lifetime achievement in fiction, and in 2012 he won the PEN/ Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, given to an author whose “scale of achievement over a sustained career places him in the highest rank of American literature.” In 2013 the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him the Gold Medal for Fiction. In 2014 he was honored with the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
The novella is given a little more weight by the addition of six very short stories, most of which are also virtually plotless and portray the same qualities of social isolation. In several instances, images from the novella crop up again in the stories, or vice-versa. Doctorow has always been fond of cross-connecting his works, but several of the stories have the air of being discarded fragments from one of his novels; one even shares almost the same title, THE WATERWORKS. As I say, nothing that Doctorow writes is without interest, but these fragments might better have been left on the cutting-room floor.