Nobody Grew But the Business: On the Life and Work of William Gaddis


Product Details

$35.00  $32.55
Northwestern University Press
Publish Date
6.16 X 0.85 X 9.23 inches | 1.32 pounds
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About the Author

JOSEPH TABBI is a professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of Cognitive Fictions and Postmodern Sublime: Technology and American Writing from Mailer to Cyberpunk, editor of the electronic book review, coeditor of Reading Matters: Narrative in the New Media Ecology, and founding member of the Consortium on Electronic Literature. .


"In this long-awaited biography, Tabbi shows that a significant amount of Gaddis's writing was autobiographical, and that Gaddis mined his own family history for characters, themes, and stories. . . . Valuable and worthy. . . . Shines a bright light on a great, enigmatic American novelist." --Publishers Weekly

"I strongly recommend this impressive book, which is as enlightening as it is moving. It opens a new, and in many ways unexpected perspective into one of the major writers of the twentieth century." --American Book Review

"Joseph Tabbi has woven a text of William Gaddis's major themes--of counterfeits, bankers, lawyers, the religious, the nosey most of us--and permits us to follow these paths without dwelling on mere gossip, complaint, or revelation. Joseph Tabbi actually thinks about how public and private lives mingle. He surprises us too, with large and small facts--for instance, I bet most readers don't know that Gaddis once had a job on a dredger on the Mississippi River near St. Louis. What pleases me most: Tabbi stresses, in work of Gaddis's sort, the importance of the music of its prose, as out of the babble of human speech emerge the sympathies of art." --William H. Gass, author of The Tunnel

"In Nobody Grew but the Business, Joseph Tabbi interweaves the skillful communication of unknown details of Gaddis's life with astute readings of his major works. I found it a wonderful book, extraordinarily pleasurable to read and quite moving." --Mark Greif, author of The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973