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Dexterity
     

Dexterity

by Douglas Bauer
 

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"Here is an extraordinary writer… he tells his story with a density that we associate with Henry James. I am convinced that Dexterity is a great and original book." —William Kennedy

"From his supple prose to his common touch, one can detect in Douglas Bauer a substantial talent. The genius of Dexterity is that it is scrupulously organized and yet

Overview

"Here is an extraordinary writer… he tells his story with a density that we associate with Henry James. I am convinced that Dexterity is a great and original book." —William Kennedy

"From his supple prose to his common touch, one can detect in Douglas Bauer a substantial talent. The genius of Dexterity is that it is scrupulously organized and yet seamless in its narrative structure. In other words, Mr. Bauer is himself extremely dexterous." —New York Times Book Review

"An altogether stunning debut… Bauer's prose is rich, startlingly resonant, stylistically powerful." —The Detroit News

Douglas Bauer's profound and exquisitely written first novel quickly established him as one of America's best new writers. This is the story of Ed and Ramona, high school lovers who married young. And when Ramona, seeing the ever-clearer reality of life with Ed, turns and walks away from her house, from her life, and from her small baby boy, Ed is stunned into a depth of uncomprehending rage. With a deer hunter's patience and a maniacal precision, Ed gathers what he needs and, in the dark of early winter, leaves to find his wife.

This darkly poetic novel is imbued with the same tough and tender understanding of the emotional lives of real people that distinguishes Bauer's subsequent novels, The Very Air and The Book of Famous Iowans.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Combine the characters of Raymond Carver with the sensibilities of Henry James and the result might be Bauer's bleak, but vividly written first novel. Ed and Ramona King live in Myles, a grim mill town in upstate New York. They have a baby named Jonas, but already the marriage has turned sour. During her pregnancy, Ramona, a wiry and rambunctious young woman, had tried to escape her claustrophobic existence, but a freak car accident severed her right hand. Now she has an artificial hand (which makes it difficult to care for the baby), a stultifying home and a distant and sullen husband. Early in the novel, while lying in the middle of a field on a hot summer day, Ramona wanders away from the baby. Before she knows it (it's as if she's in a trance) she's fleeing Myles and all it represents. On the road she meets a goodhearted man named Donnie, who lives in a trailer by the river. Ramona establishes with him the first genuine intimacy she's ever had. But fear of discovery causes her to move to a nearby town, where she finds a job and an apartment. Meanwhile, Ramona's aban don ment of him throws Ed King into a tragic tailspin. The book follows both their stories; as Ramona struggles to find her identity, Ed sinks into a lonely and embittered oblivion. This densely written novel occasionally employs language and metaphor that over whelm the characters and settings it depicts. Still, the first-time author writes with power and compassion. (Apr.)

Product Details

BN ID:
2940044788862
Publisher:
Foreverland Press
Publication date:
08/13/2012
Sold by:
Smashwords
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
304 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

William Kennedy
Here is an extraordinary writer….In an age when minimalism is in vogue, he tells his story with a density that we associate with Henry James. I am convinced that Dexterity is a great and original book.

Meet the Author

Douglas Bauer has written three novels, Dexterity, The Very Air, and The Book of Famous Iowans, each of them set in small towns, in Upstate New York, in Texas, and in Iowa. Their subjects and interests are as varied as their settings, although reviewers have pointed out that they all concern themselves in some fashion with mothers’ unpredictable presences and absences and the effect of that unreliability on their sons.

He has also written two non-fiction books, Prairie City, Iowa and The Stuff of Fiction. The first covers a year of reunion with the tiny farm village of the title, where Doug was raised and to which he returned at the age of 30 in order to try to understand the place where he grew up and, not incidentally, some things about himself as he reached that critical age. The second is a series of essays devoted to the craft of fiction writing. The essays cover the elements of character creation, dialogue, narrative strategies, how to start and end a story, and many more. There are exercises accompanying the essays.

In addition to the books Doug has written, he’s edited two anthologies, Prime Times: Writers on their favorite television shows; and Death by Pad Thai and Other Unforgettable Meals. These anthologies feature contributions from some of the most prominent writers of our time, including Sue Miller, Andre Dubus III, Aimee Bender, Richard Russo, Claire Messud, Nick Hornby, the late and very great Barry Hannah, and on and on.

Doug’s stories and essays have appeared through the years in The Atlantic, Harper’s, Esquire, Tin House, The New York Times Magazine and Sunday Book Review, The Massachusetts Review, Agni, and other publications.

He’s received grants in both fiction and non-fiction from The National Endowment for the Arts, and he’s taught at several colleges and universities, including Harvard, Smith, The University of New Mexico, Rice, and since 2005 at Bennington College. Doug’s courses there include literature classes in the works of Charles Dickens, his favorite author in the language, as well as Twentieth Century writers such as Willa Cather, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.

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