Tracy Daugherty's new book, Hiding Man: A Biography of Donald Barthelme,
KERA radio carries a review by Jerome Weeks of the Donald Barthelme biography. Weeks begins straightforwardly.
"Donald Barthelme was one of the most influential, if not most important, writers to come out of Texas. A handful of modern American writers can be said to have shaped the art of the short story: Ernest Hemingway, Katherine Anne Porter, J. D. Salinger, Raymond Carver — and Donald Barthelme, the most startlingly unconventional of the lot. And the funniest. The man who made surrealism and dadaism mainstream in American fiction."
Read more at
If you think wrestling with Mickey Rourke could be an awkward but rewarding experience, just try reading Barthelme. Some call him post-modernist, some call him experimental. But some of his writings, some based on his life's experience like the death of the father, and some based on his modest relation of how to properly develop Galveston real estate are easily Texana. Sometimes you could think yourself back in 1st grade being careful while cuttinig out construction paper figures and eating the paste.
Or you could blithely go on your way, dismissing one of our greatest writers.
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