Nicholson Baker’s zany new novel, The Anthologist (Simon & Schuster, $25), is a beguiling love story about poets that everyone who writes or reads lyrical verse will savor. Narrator Paul Chowder, a published poet, struggles against his writer’s block to compose a preface to a poetry anthology. In the process, he obsesses over poetry and life with humor and pathos: “Poetry is a controlled refinement of sobbing….The rhyming of rhymes is a powerful form of self-medication.…Rhyming is the avoidance of mental pain by addicting yourself to what will happen next.” Chowder instructs his readers to write down and recite aloud every poem they encounter. I found in my reading that I was so enchanted with some of Chowder’s aphorisms that I was writing those down as well.
The Anthologist - Nicholson Baker
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books - October 9th, 2014