takes us through the looking-glass of Joseph Cornell's boxes into
a world of "Grand Hotels" we never dreamed of. Rooms are
accessed via ferris wheel. They open onto night voyages, crystal cages
or sand fountains. They lead us back to childhood, to forgotten games,
to sleeping princesses who do not await a prince and, finally, home,
poor heart. Funny and wistful by turns, these brilliant vignettes
explore the nature of desire and the melancholy of fulfilment. As
the author says, the book is also intended as an "architectural
portrait of the artist," with biographical information "built
into the construction of the text like girders, brickwork, or decor."
Coover's recent novels are Ghost
Town (1998), Briar Rose and John's Wife (both
1996), Pinocchio in Venice (1991), and Gerald's Party
(1985). He has received numerous honors, including the William Faulkner
Award, the Brandeis Citation for Fiction, the Rea Award for the
Short Story, as well as fellowships from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim
Foundations. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and teaches electronic
and experimental writing at Brown University.
are those of the major literary tradition, that of Poe and Melville,
Hawthorne and Faulkner, for he seeks in his fiction the truths of
the human heart in the labyrinths of a fallen world."
"Robert Coover is one of our masters now. The tumultuous, Babylonian
exuberance of his mind is fueled and directed by his equally passionate
craftsmanship. He seems to be able to do anything."
--Robert Kelly, The New York Times Book Review
"Coover seems seriously concerned about an animal (his own kind)
strung out for life between creation and destruction, two longings
which twist and marry however we try to untangle them."
--Ann Gottlieb, The Village Voice