From the humble milk carton to the act of tying one's shoes, The Mezzanine at once defamiliarizes the familiar world and endows it with loopy and euphoric poetry. Nicholson Baker's accounts of the ordinary become extraordinary through his sharp storytelling and his unconventional, conversational style. At first glance, The Mezzanine appears to be a book about nothing. In reality, it is a brilliant celebration of things, simultaneously demonstrating the value of reflection and the importance of everyday human human experiences.
"Like William Carlos Williams Wrote A Novel..."
The Fermata is the most risky of Nicholson Baker's emotional histories. His narrator, Arno Strine, is a 35-year-old office temp who is writing his autobiography. "It's harder than I thought!" he admits. His "Fold-powers" are easier; he can stop the world and use it as his own pleasure ground. Arno uses this gift not for evil or material gain (he would feel guilty about stealing), though he does undress a good number of women and momentarily place them in compromising positions - always, in his view, with respect and love.
"The best book in my life"
Selected Shorts is an award-winning series of classic and contemporary short fiction read by acclaimed actors. The readings are recorded live at Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York City. The Selected Shorts radio series is a co-production of Symphony Space and WNYC, New York Public Radio, and is heard on public radio stations nationwide.
"Wonderful Radio Show"
In 2014, after a brief orientation course and a few fingerprinting sessions, Nicholson Baker became an on-call substitute teacher in a Maine public school district. He awoke to the dispatcher's five-forty a.m. phone call and headed to one of several nearby schools; when he got there, he did his best to follow lesson plans and help his students get something done. What emerges from Baker's experience is a complex, often touching deconstruction of public schooling in America.
Shandee finds a friendly arm at a granite quarry. Ned drops down a hole in a golf course. Luna meets a man made of light bulbs at a tanning parlor. So begins Nicholson Baker's fuse-blowing, sex-positive escapade, House of Holes. Baker returns to erotic territory with a gleefully over-the-top novel set in a pleasure resort, where normal rules don't apply. Brimful of good-nature, wit, and surreal sexual vocabulary, this is a modern-day Hieronymous Boschian bacchanal that is sure to surprise, amuse, and arouse.
"A fantastic performance of a very funny book"
Human Smoke delivers an indictment of the treasured myths that have romanticized much of the 1930s and '40s. Incorporating meticulous research and well-documented sources---including newspaper and magazine articles, radio speeches, memoirs, and diaries---the book juxtaposes hundreds of interrelated moments of decision, brutality, suffering, and mercy. Vivid glimpses of political leaders and their dissenters illuminate the gradual, horrifying advance toward overt global war and Holocaust.
"Not a "History Book" per se"
Baker has written a novel that remaps the territory of sex--solitary and telephonic, lyrical and profane, comfortable and dangerous. Written in the form of a phone conversation between two strangers, Vox is an erotic classic that places the author in the first rank of America's major writers.
The Anthologist follows Paul Chowder - a once-in-a-while-published kind of poet who is writing the introduction to a new anthology of poetry. He's having a hard time getting started because his career is floundering; his girlfriend, Roz, has recently left him; and he is thinking about the great poets throughout history who have suffered far worse and deserve to feel sorry for themselves.
"Because I Read Traveling Sprinkler First..."
A new novel by bestselling author Nicholson Baker reintroduces feckless but hopeful hero Paul Chowder, whose struggle to get his life together is reflected in his steadfast desire to write a pop song, or a protest song, or both at once.
"No One Brings The Everyday To Life..."
"Middle-Class Militants", by James Surowiecki; "Go-Between", by Patrick Radden Keefe; "The Prodigal Daughter", by Jill Lepore; "Aflame", by Jeffrey Bartholet; "A Fourth State of Matter", by Nicholson Baker; and "In Transit", by Anthony Lane.