A Strange Commonplaceby Gilbert Sorrentino
“Sorrentino [is] a writer like no other. He’s learned, companionable, ribald, brave, mathematical, at once virtuosic and somehow without ego. Sorrentino’s books break free of the routine that inevitably accompanies traditional narrative and through a passionate renunciation shine with an unforgiving, yet cleansing, light.”—Jeffrey
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“Sorrentino [is] a writer like no other. He’s learned, companionable, ribald, brave, mathematical, at once virtuosic and somehow without ego. Sorrentino’s books break free of the routine that inevitably accompanies traditional narrative and through a passionate renunciation shine with an unforgiving, yet cleansing, light.”—Jeffrey Eugenides
“For decades, Gilbert Sorrentino has remained a unique figure in our literature. He reminds us that fiction lives because artists make it. …To the novel—everyone’s novel—Sorrentino brings honor, tradition, and relentless passion.”—Don DeLillo
Borrowing its title from a William Carlos Williams poem, A Strange Commonplace lays bare the secrets and dreams of characters whose lives are intertwined by coincidence and necessity, possessions and experience. Ensnared in a jungle of city streets and suburban bedroom communities from the boozy 1950s to the culturally vacuous present, lines blur between families and acquaintances, violence and love, hope and despair. As fathers try to connect with their children, as writers struggle for credibility, as wives walk out, and an old man plays Russian roulette with a deck of cards, their stories resonate with poignancy and savage humor—familiar, tragic, and cathartic.
Gilbert Sorrentino is the author of more than 30 books, including Little Casino, finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. A critical and influential figure in postmodern American literature, he is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and a Lannan Literary Award. His frequent appearances on Michael Silverblatt’s Bookworm can be heard at www.kcrw.org. Once an editor at Grove Press, Sorrentino is professor emeritus at Stanford University and lives in Brooklyn.
- Coffee House Press
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Meet the Author
A luminary of American literature, Gilbert Sorrentino was a boyhood friend of Hubert Selby, Jr., a confidant of William Carlos Williams, a two-time PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, and the recipient of a Lannan Literary Lifetime Achievement Award. He taught at Stanford for many years before returning to his native Brooklyn and published over thirty books before his death in 2006.
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