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Novelist Nicholson Baker, author of The Mezzanine and Vox and called by Vanity Fair "the best American writer of his generation, " here collects over a decade's worth of essays and journalism, including his controversial and highly praised 1994 article on the destruction of library card catalogs. His subjects range from the internals of the movie projector to the emotional tribulations of reading aloud; from the disappearance of hybrid punctuation to the mechanics of changing one's mind; from the lexicography of dirty talk to the manufacture of the fingernail clipper. There is a wedding address, a study of the not-so-random books that are used as props in mail-order catalogs, and a recipe. The final essay, which appears in print here for the first time, pursues through several centuries of prose and poetry the vagaries of the word lumber as a metaphor for the contents of the human mind, in what becomes in the telling a dazzlingly pedantic case study of the fanaticism of scholarship and the beauty that can reside within a piece of ordinary language.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780679776246
ISBN-10: 0679776249
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 133mm x 20mm)
Pages: 355
Imprint: Vintage Books
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
Publish Date: 1-May-2001
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Nicholson Baker

Nicholson Baker has published five novels The Mezzanine, Room Temperature, Vox, The Fermata, and The Everlasting Story of Nory and two works of nonfiction, U and I and The Size of Thoughts. He lives with his wife and two children in Maine."

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