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Sven BirkertsNow in his late 70s, the much-honored author of 18 books, including The Sot-Weed Factor, Giles Goat-Boy and Chimera, [Barth] continues to resist being cashiered out as "emeritus." His latest work, The Development, is a set of loosely linked stories that move with wry and lordly omniscience among the loosely linked lives of various elderly residents of Heron Bay Estates, a gated community in the Maryland Tidewater region…Barth's narrative vantage might be characterized as "intimate aerial," able to convey at once the variegated material realities of his characters and to lance swiftly into their inner lives. He plies, as he has from the very start of his career, a gratifyingly well-textured prose, kept interesting not only by its alert depiction of psychological states but by its sly deployment of self-reflexive asides, which remind us every few pages that a tale is always an artifice.
—The New York Times