Show World by Wilton Barnhardt
A Novel

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The author of the beloved novels Gospel and Emma Who Saved My Life, Wilton Barnhardt is a writer of rare and extraordinary talent who has yet to walk the same ground twice. With Show World he offers a contemporary woman's story that will haunt its every reader. Samantha Flint, the figure at the book's center, flees the Midwest for Smith College to shake her past, to invent a future she can live with. There she meets the redoubtable Mimi Mohr; together and apart they move from New York to DC to LA. Yet even as each new city takes them to fresh heights of power and wealth, everything Sam wants seems to elude her--and after a series of lapses, both desperate and careless, she finds her dreams have turned against her.

A work of withering satire and unmatched imagination, Show World is Wilton Barnhardt's clear-eyed estimate of America and what we all want out of her.


About Wilton Barnhardt

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WILTON BARNHARDT is the author of three previous novels: Emma Who Saved My Life, Gospel, and Show World.  A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, he is the director of the Masters in Fine Arts program in Creative Writing at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where he lives.
Published July 2, 2013 by Picador. 368 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

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The story of a hopeful young woman’s disillusioning descent through the worlds of academe, politics, and film makes for a curious hybrid that falls awkwardly between the romantic comedy of Barnhardt’s ingratiating first novel (Emma Who Saved My Life, 1989) and the baroque overkill that flattened ...

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Publishers Weekly

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After the exuberant Emma Who Saved My Life and the 772-page blockbuster Gospel, Barnhardt has trimmed his sails somewhat in a novel that, despite several allusions to Mary McCarthy's The Group, is clo

Jun 01 1998 | Read Full Review of Show World: A Novel

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