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The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker
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's review
Jun 25, 2010

bookshelves: faculty-recommendations
Read in January, 2009

I have just started Nicholson Baker’s new book, The Anthologist, the closely observed story of a middle-aged poet struggling with a failed relationship, a stalled but modestly successful career, and crippling writer’s block as he prepares the introduction to a new anthology of poetry. Baker is famous for novellas the explore the imagination of people in snapshot moments—riding an escalator or engaging in a risqué telephone conversation, and his new book is, again, more observation and pronouncement than narrative. The atmosphere may be melancholy, but the ideas flow energetically as the protagonist, Paul Chowder, tries to find his voice and to understand why his penchant for rules, straight lines, and pure rhyme don’t seem to be enough. - Dennis Hutchinson

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