Throughout his career, William Gass relentlessly pushed at the boundaries of language, celebrating the music of the sentence and the aesthetics of the written word. Now, the best and most important of his work is collected in one volume. There are essays on Plato, Hobbes, James, Joyce, Beckett, Stein, Gaddis, Sterne, Ford Madox Ford, Thomas Mann. There are pieces that examine the inner workings of writing. There is his masterful short fiction, from the perfectly crafted novella “In Camera” to the mythical “In the Heart of the Heart of the Country.” And there are excerpts from his novels, including his magnum opus, The Tunnel. Taken together, this collection is a peerless, essential celebration of literature—and an invaluable guide for anyone who wants to understand how great writing works.
About the Author
William H. Gass was born in Fargo, North Dakota. He is the author of seven works of fiction, nine books of essays, and a book of conversations. Gass was a professor of philosophy at Washington University. For most of his life he lived in St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife, the architect Mary Gass. William Gass died in 2017.
Acclaim for THE WILLIAM H. GASS READER
"A dazzling compendium of fiction and literary essays selected by the author himself at the end of his life ... The book is a banquet ... joyous ... superb."--Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
"A meaty book of more than 900 pages of short stories, excerpts from his novels, and critical and theoretical essays ... a monument to Gass's brilliance as a postmodern fictioneer and a peerless genius of a critic."--Joseph Peschel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch