Lives of the Poets: A Novella and Six Stories (Random House Reader's Circle)

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9780812981186: Lives of the Poets: A Novella and Six Stories (Random House Reader's Circle)

Innocence is lost to unforgettable experience in these brilliant stories by E. L. Doctorow, as full of mystery and meaning as any of the longer works by this American master. In “The Writer in the Family,” a young man learns the difference between lying and literature after he is induced into deceiving a relative through letters. In “Wili,” an early-twentieth-century idyll is destroyed by infidelity. In “The Foreign Legation,” a girl and an act of political anarchy collide with devastating results. These and other stories flow into the novella “Lives of the Poets,” in which the images and themes of the earlier stories become part of the narrator’s unsparing confessions about his own mind, offering a rare look at the creative process and its connection to the heart.

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About the Author:

E. L. Doctorow’s works of fiction include Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Loon Lake, World’s Fair, Billy Bathgate, The Waterworks, City of God, The March, Homer & Langley, and Andrew’s Brain. Among his honors are the National Book Award, three National Book Critics Circle awards, two PEN/Faulkner awards, and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, honoring a writer’s lifetime achievement in fiction, and in 2012 he won the PEN/ Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, given to an author whose “scale of achievement over a sustained career places him in the highest rank of American literature.” In 2013 the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him the Gold Medal for Fiction. In 2014 he was honored with the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.
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Review:

“Extraordinary beauty and power . . . a book to fall in love with.”—Chicago Tribune Book World
 
“Better than any fiction I know, Lives of the Poets illuminates the sources from which fiction springs.”—Newsweek
 
“Doctorow is an impeccable stylist, a man who writes with exceptional clarity and precision.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Invaluable . . . Doctorow’s subtlest work of fiction.”—New York Times Book Review

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