In 1989, Steven Moore published the first scholarly study of all three of William Gaddis's novels and since then it has been generally regarded as the best book on this difficult but major writer's work. This revised and expanded edition includes new chapters on the novels Gaddis published after 1989, the National Book Award-winning A Frolic of His Own and the posthumous novella Agape Agape, along with updated introductory and concluding chapters.
This introduction offers a clear discussion of all five of Gaddis's novels, providing essential biographical information, two chapters each on his most significant novels, The Recognitions and J R, and a chapter each devoted to his later three novels. A concluding chapter locates his place in American literature and notes his influence on younger writers. Each chapter focuses on the main themes of each novel and discusses the literary techniques Gaddis deployed to dramatize those themes. Since Gaddis is an erudite, allusive novelist, Moore clarifies his references and explains how they enhance his themes.