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William H. Gass (1924–2017)

Author of The Tunnel

43+ Works 5,955 Members 65 Reviews 30 Favorited

About the Author

William Howard Gass was born in Fargo, North Dakota on July 30, 1924. During World War II, he served as an ensign in the Navy. He received an A.B. in philosophy from Kenyon College in 1947 and a PhD in philosophy from Cornell University in 1954. He taught at several universities including The show more College of Wooster, Purdue University, and Washington University in St. Louis. He wrote novels, collections of short stories and novellas, and collections of criticism. His novels included Omensetter's Luck, Middle C, and The Tunnel, which received the American Book Award. His other works of fiction included In the Heart of the Heart of the Country, Willie Master's Lonesome Wife, Cartesian Sonata and Other Novellas, and Eyes: Novellas and Stories. His collections of criticism included Tests of Time; A Temple of Texts, which won the 2007 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism; and Habitations of the Word and Finding a Form, which both won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. His essay collections included Fiction and the Figures of Life, The World Within the Word, and Reading Rilke. He died from congestive heart failure on December 6, 2017 at the age of 93. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Joyce Ravid

Works by William H. Gass

The Tunnel (1995) — Author — 927 copies, 11 reviews
In the Heart of the Heart of the Country & Other Stories (1968) — Author — 735 copies, 8 reviews
Omensetter's Luck (1966) — Author — 724 copies, 14 reviews
On being blue: a philosophical inquiry (1976) — Author — 632 copies, 9 reviews
Middle C (2013) 341 copies, 6 reviews
Finding a Form: Essays (1996) — Author — 308 copies, 3 reviews
Fiction and the Figures of Life (1970) — Author — 300 copies, 2 reviews
The World Within the Word: Essays (1978) — Author — 272 copies
A Temple of Texts (2006) 252 copies, 3 reviews
Cartesian Sonata: And Other Novellas (1998) — Author — 233 copies, 2 reviews
Willie Masters' Lonesome Wife (1971) — Author — 172 copies, 2 reviews
Habitations of the Word: Essays (1984) — Author — 163 copies
Life Sentences: Literary Judgments and Accounts (2012) — Author — 150 copies, 2 reviews
Tests of Time (2002) 140 copies, 1 review
Eyes: Novellas and Stories (2015) — Author — 90 copies, 1 review
The William H. Gass Reader (2018) 78 copies
Literary St. Louis: A Guide (2000) — Editor — 22 copies
New American Review # 1 (1967) 20 copies
Pedersens Kind (1992) 1 copy

Associated Works

At Swim-Two-Birds (1939) — Introduction, some editions — 3,304 copies, 62 reviews
The Recognitions (1955) — Introduction, some editions — 2,250 copies, 34 reviews
The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) — Introduction, some editions — 2,139 copies, 37 reviews
The Best American Essays of the Century (2000) — Contributor — 788 copies, 4 reviews
For the Love of Books: 115 Celebrated Writers on the Books They Love Most (1999) — Contributor — 457 copies, 3 reviews
The Granta Book of the American Short Story (1992) — Contributor — 369 copies, 1 review
Postmodern American Fiction: A Norton Anthology (1997) — Contributor — 279 copies, 1 review
Auguste Rodin (1903) — Introduction, some editions — 241 copies, 1 review
The Best American Essays 2000 (2000) — Contributor — 214 copies, 1 review
The Best American Essays 1998 (1998) — Contributor — 194 copies, 2 reviews
The Franchiser (1976) — Foreword, some editions — 169 copies, 3 reviews
The Best American Essays 1995 (1995) — Contributor — 161 copies, 1 review
Masquerade and Other Stories (1990) — Introduction, some editions — 145 copies, 3 reviews
The Best American Essays 1992 (1992) — Contributor — 138 copies
The Best American Essays 1986 (1986) — Contributor — 70 copies, 1 review
200 Years of Great American Short Stories (1975) — Contributor — 69 copies, 1 review
Novel Voices (2003) — Contributor — 55 copies
Extreme Fiction: Fabulists and Formalists (2003) — Contributor — 51 copies
Granta 1: New American Writing (1990) — Contributor — 44 copies, 2 reviews
The Best American Short Stories 1980 (1980) — Contributor — 34 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1968 (1968) — Contributor — 33 copies
Antaeus No. 75/76, Autumn 1994 - The Final Issue (1994) — Contributor — 32 copies
In the Wake of the Wake (1978) — Contributor — 24 copies
Studies in Fiction (1965) — Contributor — 22 copies, 1 review
The Best American Short Stories 1959 (1959) — Contributor — 13 copies
Story to Anti-Story (1979) — Contributor — 13 copies
New American Review #6 (1969) — Contributor — 13 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1962 (1962) — Contributor — 11 copies
Conjunctions: 30, Paper Airplane (1998) — Contributor — 11 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1961 (1961) — Contributor — 10 copies
The New Salmagundi Reader (1996) — Contributor — 3 copies
J&L Illustrated No. 3 (2012) — Contributor — 2 copies

Tagged

17th century (90) 20th century (220) American (187) American literature (248) anthology (325) art (68) books (56) books about books (80) classics (55) criticism (94) Dalkey Archive (55) depression (55) English (56) English literature (78) essay (67) essays (804) fiction (1,315) humor (110) Ireland (149) Irish (155) Irish literature (136) literary criticism (227) literature (415) medicine (62) melancholy (92) metafiction (71) non-fiction (400) novel (312) NYRB (70) philosophy (292) poetry (69) postmodern (80) postmodernism (83) psychology (180) read (110) short stories (273) to-read (1,526) unread (105) USA (83) writing (93)

Common Knowledge

Members

Reviews

A collection of critical essays authored by the unwavering William Gass. The essays examine the writers and publications that influenced his growth. This reading list would serve as a solid starting point for anyone who enjoys reading.
½
 
Flagged
jwhenderson | 2 other reviews | Apr 17, 2024 |
Abandoned at page 99. Give me [b:Ducks, Newburyport|43412920|Ducks, Newburyport|Lucy Ellmann|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1546225252l/43412920._SX50_.jpg|67454703] any day. Give me the stream of consciousness of an ordinary Ohio woman over the stream of consciousness of a morally deficient professor inordinately focused on genitalia any day. It's pretty boring.
 
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lelandleslie | 10 other reviews | Feb 24, 2024 |
"ON BEING BLUE has been composed by Michael & Winifred Bixler. The typeface is Monotype Dante, designed by the archtypographer Giovanni Mardersteig, cut in its original version by the skilled punchcutter Charles Malin and first used in 1954. The mechanical recutting by the Monotype Corporation of this strong and elegant Renaissance design preserves the liveliness, personality, and dignity of the original. The third printing has been printed offset by Mercantile Printing Company on Warren's Olde Style and has been bound by New Hampshire Bindery."… (more)
 
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zadkine | 8 other reviews | Aug 27, 2023 |
William H. Gass was an incredibly talented writer. And, "Middle C" presents ample evidence of his skill. His prose is smart and his style is as good as it gets. My beef with "Middle C" has nothing to do with these obvious skills. My disappointment is with the novel's concept. What is the book actually about? One reviewer described it as a portrait of mediocrity. Really? Did we need that? I guess we're presented with a masterful (albeit lengthy) paean to mediocrity! Wonderful!

I think there are a small group of authors who have incredible talent but are at a loss as to what to do with it. Enormous talent unmatched by equivalent inspiration. But thats my uninspired and likely equally untalented opinion.… (more)
 
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colligan | 5 other reviews | Apr 18, 2023 |

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Statistics

Works
43
Also by
37
Members
5,955
Popularity
#4,149
Rating
4.0
Reviews
65
ISBNs
113
Languages
8
Favorited
30

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