The Book of Ten Nights and a Night by John Barth
Eleven Stories

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Synopsis

John Barth, the postmodern master, is back with his sixteenth book and third collection of stories, which gathers for the first time in one volume stories previously published in various journals. Exploring ideas of narrative frames, stories within stories, and the uncanny power that language has in our lives, he offers the thrilling blend of playfulness and illuminating insight that has marked him as one of America’s most distinguished writers.
Here are tales of aging, time, possibility, and relationships. And in typically Barthian fashion, they are framed by the narration of a veteran writer, Graybard, and his flirtatious, insouciant muse, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). During the eleven days that follow September 11, 2001, Graybard and WYSIWYG debate the meaning and relevance of writing and storytelling in the wake of disaster, or TEOTWAW(A)KI— The End Of The World As We (Americans) Know It.
The Book of Ten Nights and a Night is vintage Barth, sure to appeal to his loyal fans and find new readers touched by his irreverent but deeply human perspective on how writers can respond to the emotional and ethical demands of tragic events.
 

About John Barth

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John Barth taught for many years in the writing program at Johns Hopkins University, and he lives in Chestertown, Maryland.
 
Published April 9, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Book of Ten Nights and a Night

Kirkus Reviews

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Noodling about writers’ dreams (“A Detective and a Turtle”) and the notion that both the physical universe and human possibility are contracting (“The Big Shrink,” “Extension”) yield mixed results—as do “9999,” in which confluences of numbers have possibly “causative” characteristics, and “Click,...

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Publishers Weekly

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The intervals between stories are filled with a lot of cutesy converse- and asterisk-laden copulation between a Barth stand-in—Graybard—and his muse, Wysiwyg (Barth, one of nature's true acronym maniacs, got the name Wysiwyg from computer slang—it stands for "What you see is what you get").

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San Francisco Chronicle

Notes for review of John Barth's "The Book of Ten Nights and a Night": Perhaps some sort of experimental framework for review, mimicking the endlessly self-conscious style of Barth?

Apr 18 2004 | Read Full Review of The Book of Ten Nights and a ...

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