WHO: William H. Gass
WHAT: MIDDLE C, a novel
WHEN: Published by Knopf March 14, 2013
WHERE: The author lives in St. Louis
“The unprecedented work of a master.”
in a starred review
“An exuberantly learned bildungsroman
from an internationally lauded virtuoso.
“This picaresque tale of a hapless poseur, music professor Joseph Skizzen, is a mischievous variation on the moral dilemmas raised in Gass’ The Tunnel, in which a historian grapples with his life’s work, Guilt and Innocence in Hitler’s Germany.
“Skittish Joseph’s secret obsession with genocidal horrors is manifest in his ‘Inhumanity Museum,’ a motley collection of documents about human atrocities that fills the attic in his decaying Victorian house in a small Ohio college town. Fearfully virginal Joseph lives with his Austrian refugee mother, a ferocious gardener. They fled WWII Europe when he was a boy after his father, a master of false identities, disappeared.
“Looking back on his anxiously improvised American life, Joseph recalls incidents ludicrous, painful, and hilarious involving characters of delectably cartoonish particulars connected to his misbegotten jobs at a record store and a library. Joseph also remembers his lonely old piano teacher, who extolled middle C and the major third as a chord on which ‘all that is good and warm and wholesome and joyful in nature is built.’
“Can a human life achieve such uplifting unity and resonance? In this exuberantly learned bildungsroman—this torrent of curious facts and arch commentary, puns and allusions—internationally lauded virtuoso Gass reflects on humanity’s crimes and marvels, creating his funniest and most life-embracing book yet.” —Donna Seaman,
in a starred review for BOOKLIST
“From one of America’s most celebrated authors, a masterly work of language and imagery.” —Joshua Finnell, in a starred review for LIBRARY JOURNAL
Publicist for this title:
Gabrielle Brooks | 212-572-2152 | firstname.lastname@example.org