Shadow Play: A Novel (Norton Paperback)

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9780393322743: Shadow Play: A Novel (Norton Paperback)
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"In his quiet cosmic wonderment, Baxter is the equal of John Updike and Anne Tyler at their largest and best."―GQ

Without question Charles Baxter, whose ravishing novel The Feast of Love was a National Book Award finalist, is one of our finest contemporary writers. These two books, set in the Michigan landscape that Baxter has made his own, display his unparalleled gift for revealing the unexpected in everyday life. In the novel Shadow Play, a decent man, having made a "devil's bargain," finds himself on that precarious border between personal love and social responsibility. Reading group guide included.

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About the Author:

Charles Baxter lives in Minneapolis and teaches at the University of Minnesota.

From Library Journal:

In this tale of normalcy mixed with eccentricity and lunacy, Wyatt Palmer's father spends his weekends in the family basement, building incomprehensible model houses and filling a drawer with philosophical notes. After he dies, Wyatt's mother goes off the deep end, making up words and talking to herself. Wyatt is eventually raised by his Aunt Ellen, who is writing a new bible. Although Wyatt has artistic talent, after college he marries and cultivates a super-normal life in his Midwestern hometown, working as an assistant city manager. The outside world invades Wyatt's "normal" life when a schoolmate builds a factory that emits toxic fumes inside its own building, which brings about the death of Wyatt's jailbird cousin, Cyril. In the aftermath, Wyatt flees to New York City, where his mother feels at home. Baxter is at his best in his short stories (e.g., A Relative Stranger , LJ 8/87); here, he leaves the reader with less than satisfying resolutions. But his odd characters, set in familiar American landscapes and rendered in a fine, controlled style, remain vivid. Recommended for public libraries.
- Harold Augenbraum, Mercantile Lib., New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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