Letters: a novel

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Putnam, 1979 - Fiction - 772 pages
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The letters of seven people, including a British gentlewoman who finds herself pregnant by her young American lover and a bachelor lawyer who enjoys incest on his final cruise in preparation for suicide, take readers on a journey through history

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Lady Amherst to the Author Inviting him to accept an honorary
Jacob Horner to Jacob Horner His life since The End of
Ambrose Mensch to Yours Truly and Lady Amherst A decla

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About the author (1979)

John Barth is one of the American writers who introduced a U.S. audience to experimental fiction. Born in Maryland, in 1930, Barth began as a conventional novelist, exploring existential themes of suicide in The Floating Opera (1956) and the complexity of love in The End of the Road (1958). By the end of the 1950s, however, he was exploring less realistic techniques to keep the reader from being pulled into the story, and thus to make larger points. Those techniques include parody, which Barth first used in The Sot-Weed Factor (1960), to mock the style of the eighteenth-century picaresque novel, and Giles Goat-Boy (1966), which depicts the world as a giant university. In Chimera (1972), for which he won the National Book Award, Barth applied his method to retell classical myths. His later works include Letters (1979), in which Barth himself appears as a character, and Sabbatical (1982), the story of a woman college professor and her novelist husband, both of whom address the reader and author. Barth's other novels include The Tidewater Tales (1987) and The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor (1991). For most of his career as a writer, he has also been a professor of English, teaching at Pennsylvania State University, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and The Johns Hopkins University.

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