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The Abyss of Human Illusion



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The Abyss of Human Illusion by Gilbert Sorrentino
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Edited by his son Christopher Sorrentino, this is Gilbert Sorrentino's final novel, completed just before his death in 2006. As Christopher writes, "Among his last words to me, when I visited him in the hospital the night before he died, were, `I'm sick of this bullshit.'" And it's no wonder. Sorrentino spent his whole career fighting the bullshit that had crept into American writing. Along the way he gathered some enemies (his obituary in the New York Times quoted at length from a ancient critical attack), but he is still a hero to many writers and readers. As the San Francisco Chronicle says, ""Of the elder generation of postmodernists, only Thomas Pynchon and Sorrentino remain truly dangerous." And as Bookforum assserts, "One of [Brooklyn]'s most intriguing and authentic homegrown talents, Sorrentino's Bay Ridge deserves to be appreciated alongside Malamud's Crown Heights, Arthur Miller's Coney Island, Henry Miller's and Betty Smith's Williamsburg, Hamill's and Auster's Park Slope, and Lethem's Boerum Hill." In this novel, Sorrentino again proves that there is no place like the Brooklyn of his imagination-a city lost in time between the Depression era and some fraudulent bohemia of the present. Familiar, caustically funny, and cathartic, all his usual characters are here, too, including some we've met in previous books-aging artists, miserable couples, crackerjack salesmen, drunken soldiers, tyrannical white-collar supervisors, and avariciously stupid book reviewers.

Author Biography

A luminary of American literature, Gilbert Sorrentino was a boyhood friend of Hubert Selby, Jr., a confidant of William Carlos Williams, a two-time PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, and the recipient of a Lannan Literary Lifetime Achievement Award. He taught at Stanford for many years before returning to his native Brooklyn and published over thirty books before his death in 2006. The son of Gilbert Sorrentino, Christopher Sorrentino is a novelist and short story writer whose fictional account of the Patty Hearst saga, Trance, was a finalist for the National Book Award. He lives in Brooklyn.
Release date Australia
February 1st, 2010
Preface by Christopher Sorrentino
Country of Publication
United States
Coffee House Press
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