William T. Vollmann

A Critical Study and Seven Interviews


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SKU: 9780786440252 Category:

About the Book

Talking bugs, electricity, the founding of empires, hobos, Nazis, whores, violence, drugs, murder, secret cabals, Heaven, Hell—William T. Vollmann is a writer of enormous novels that are stuffed with entire worlds of creation and destruction. This first ever book-length critical study traces his career to date with chapters devoted to each of his novels, as well as his short stories and major nonfiction. Vollmann is a writer of obsessions, and this study concentrates on three of them—freedom, redemption, and prostitution—while arguing that the author that dwells on them is worthy of being called one of our greatest living American writers. Also included are seven interviews spanning the years 1991–2007 that reinforce the persistence of Vollmann’s attraction to these themes.

About the Author(s)

The late Michael Hemmingson lived in LaJolla, California.

Bibliographic Details

Michael Hemmingson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4025-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5418-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1

Part I: Freedom, Redemption, and Prostitution

Introduction      7

1. You Bright and Risen Angels (1987)      17

2. The Rainbow Stories (1989); Thirteen Stories and Thirteen Epithets (1991); Europe Central (2005)      22

3. Seven Dreams: A Book of North American Landscapes (1990–2001)      31

4. Whores for Gloria (1991); Butterfly Stories (1993); The Royal Family (2001)      39

5. Rising Up and Rising Down (2003)      49

6. An Afghanistan Picture Show (1993); The Atlas (1996)      62

7. Poor People (2007); Riding Toward Everywhere (2008); Imperial (2009)      67

Part II: Seven Conversations

Moth to the Flame (1991) by Larry McCaffery      85

The Write Stuff 7ALT-X Interview (1994) by AL      114

Vollmann Shares Vision (2000) by Michelle Goldberg      124

Pattern Recognitions (2001) by Larry McCaffery      135

Drinks with Tony (2005) by Tony Dushane      146

The Subversive Dialogues (2006) by Kate Braverman      153

A Day at Vollmann’s Studio (2007) by Terri Saul      167

Appendix: CoTangent Press Book Arts      181

Notes      191

Bibliography      195

Index      203

Book Reviews & Awards

“a lively and frank guide to Vollmann’s substantial and kaleidoscopic oeuvre…electrifying interviews”—Booklist; “a worthy critical study”—Raintaxi.com.