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The Life and Times of Major Fiction, The Life and Times of Major Fiction, 0932511082, 0-932511-08-2, 978-0-932511-08-9, 9780932511089,

The Life and Times of Major Fiction
by Jonathan Baumbach

1987. 198 pp.
Price:  $17.95 t

The fourteen stories that make up Jonathan Baumbach's eighth book of fiction deals with parents, children, love, basketball, billiards, reading, marriage, divorce—the essentials of everyday life which, through the author's unique strategy of narrative, come to the reader in unexpected ways. Combining comedy and nightmare, these stories distinguish themselves by the charge of their imaginative life, their concern with language, and the play and replay of their form.

"Familiar Games" describes a one-on-one basketball game between a 12-year-old boy and his mother, a match that evokes a childhood memory of sexual mystery; "Passion?" concerns the disrepair of a marriage that has presented itself to friends and the world as ideal; "Children of Divorced Parents" centers on the problematic career of a filmmaker who, after several failed marriages, continues to pursue the illusion of first love; and the title story, "The Life and Times of Major Fiction," investigates the mysterious career of a literary confidence man, an impassioned lover of good books, whose life is itself a pastiche of the plots of major fictions.

"The Life and Times of Major Fiction is a dazzling sampler of pleasures. Jonathan Baumbach writes gorgeous prose and he has a rare comic/tragic vision, especially of love."
—Hilma Wolitzer

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