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Nicholson Baker Books In Order

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Publication Order of Paul Chowder Chronicles Books

The Anthologist (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Travelling Sprinkler (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Mezzanine (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Room Temperature (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vox (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fermata (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Everlasting Story of Nory (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Box of Matches (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Checkpoint (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
House of Holes (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Born on the seventh of January 1957, Nicholson Baker is an American essayist and novelist. As his trademark, Baker places more emphasis on careful characterization and description, with the focus on the inspection of narrators’ and characters’ stream of consciousness. Born in the city of New York, Nicholson Baker spent his early life in Rochester. He briefly studied at the Eastman School of Music and later joined Haverford College where he received a Bachelorette of Art in English. His works cover multiple genres and topics, such as literature, poetry, history, library systems, politics, youth, sex, and time manipulation. The novelist is an ardent critic of what he considers as pointless obliteration of paper-based media by libraries. His vehement articles critical of various public libraries featured in The New Yorker. In recognition of his unrelenting efforts, he received James Madison Freedom of Information Award in 1997. In 1999, the novelist founded the American Newspaper Repository, a not-for-profit corporation, as an archive of old newspapers. In his Double Fold (2001), Baker accuses librarians of disregarding their roles and their obsession with technology, at the expense of historical and public preservation.
Writing Career

Published in 1991, U and I: A True Story is a non-fiction and self-exploration of the way readers engage with author’s works. As opposed to providing the conventional literary analysis, the author begins by expressing that he will no longer read more of John Updike. Most of the John Updike’s quotations utilized in the work are presented as originating from memory alone, and seem off-base, with their correct versions and commentary, provided in brackets. Vox, published in 1992, is a work consisting a scene of phone sex involving two youthful individuals on a pay phone. The intimate episodes in the novel, although very striking, nevertheless help share the fundamental approach that the novelist has taken subsequent to The Mezzanine. He explores the accumulated memories and thoughts of the two characters in relation to sex. For a few readers, the obsession of the novelist with details destructs much hoped-for pornographic effect. On the contrary, when perusing through these creative sex accounts produced by the two protagonists, others see a maturing sentimental affection. Before they hang up, the man gives the lady his contact as a demonstration of affection. The work was Baker’s first bestseller in The New York Times and it is reported that Monica Lewinsky once bought President Bill Clinton a copy.

The Fermata (1994) likewise addresses fantasy and erotic life. In the text, Arno Strine’s insatiable desire for women makes the development of his autobiography extremely difficult. The Fermata, Arno’s autobiography, ends up being an extremely provocative, entertaining, and morally befuddled piece. A fermata, being an imprint in musical notation denoting a note that ought to be sustained, is used satirically to depict the erotic life.The Everlasting Story of Nory is a 1998 publication, inspired by Alice, Baker’s daughter, whom he refers to as the informant. In the work, the novelist tries to perceive the world through the eyes of an inquisitive nine-year-old American young girl seeking her education in England.Published in 2001, Double Fold is a non-fiction work on the preservation of old newspapers, and the U.S. library framework. An excerpt of the book first appeared in The New Yorker in 2002. The comprehensively researched work (with eighteen pages of references and sixty-three pages of endnotes in the paperback version) demonstrates the author’s quest to reveal the destiny of a large number of newspapers and books that were swapped and destroyed during the late 80s’ and early 90s’ microfilming boom.

A Box of Matches (2003) is a continuation, in many ways, of Room Temperature, likewise mining the storyteller’s store of memories and reflections, most of them domestic. The storyteller is a middle-aged family man, who rises every morning around four O’clock, lights a fire in the hearth to ponder about his problems. The text is well admired, although some critics consider it less exuberant in comparison to its predecessor. Checkpoint (2004) is a dialogue between long-time, secondary school friends, Ben and Jay who spent time discussing the latter’s plan to kill President George W. Hedge in cold blood. Jay is an unstable worker who, in the profundities of his displeasure and edginess at actions of Bush and his inability to stop them, embarks on a journey to Washington, D.C., to execute the president. He takes into consideration many outlandish approaches to the assassination, including uranium boulders, flying CD saws, spellbound Manchurian scorpions, and homing bullets. Ben meets Jay in a hotel room in Washington, D.C., unaware of his plans to commit a treasonous crime. As the novella progresses, the latter discusses the factors that drove his friend, Jay, to plotting the assassination. Critics have been quick to point out that the work is mild with regards to the planned violence, and hence, non-threatening.

Human Smoke is a 2008 publication that chronicles the World War II, questioning the commonly held beliefs, such as the Allies were against the war but the unforgiving crusade of the Adolf Hitler forced them to take action. It largely comprises of official transcripts of the government and other key documents.

The Anthologist (2009) is a first-person narration by Paul Chowder, who is trying to compose a prolog to a collection of poems. Destructed by his life problems, a stagnating career and troubled relationship, Paul is unable to focus on his writing but rather ruminates on poetry and poets throughout history. House of Holes (2011) is a compilation of more or less connected stories. The novellas are sensual in the sense of Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. The ostensible House of Holes is a dream sex resort where people take part in preposterous sexual practices. Much the same as Alice, people enter the fortress through various techniques, such as tumbling through clothes dryers and through drinking straws.Traveling Sprinkler (2013) reintroduces Paul Chowder, the narrator of The Anthologist. On completing his anthology, Chowder is attempting to compose sonnets but only manages to produce lyrics. He chooses to focus on composing songs, purchasing instruments and software that support the production of complex musical tracks. He recalls his heydays playing bassoon, pondering on its place in archetypical music. He mends his broken, sexual relationship, musing on drone warfare, cigars, and traveling sprinklers.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Nicholson Baker

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