Eyes: Novellas and Stories (Paperback)

Eyes: Novellas and Stories By William H. Gass Cover Image

Eyes: Novellas and Stories (Paperback)


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The point where an underground spring suddenly bursts to the surface is known as an eye. It is a place of mystery, where dry ground becomes soaked with life-giving water, and nature gives us a glimpse of all that happens out of the realm of human vision. So begins William Gass’s latest collection, with these evocative lines from Jan DeBlieu. What follows are six extraordinary works of fiction: stories and novellas that capture these moments of mystery and explore the hidden philosophical depths of everyday life as only Gass can.

“Charity” examines the roles of asking, giving, and receiving through the prism of a young lawyer who offers a simple gift. “In Camera” takes us into a photography shop owner’s incomparable collection of images. “Don’t Even Try, Sam” gives us the voice of the prop piano from Casablanca, and “Soliloquy for a Chair” is narrated by a folding chair in a barbershop that is ultimately fated for destruction. Incisive, darkly funny, formally innovative and linguistically stunning, Eyes is a tour de force of modern fiction.

William H. Gass—essayist, novelist, literary critic—was born in Fargo, North Dakota. He is the author of seven works of fiction and nine books of essays, including Life Sentences, A Temple of Texts, and Tests of Time, and was a professor of philosophy at Washington University. He died in 2017. 

Product Details ISBN: 9781101873335
ISBN-10: 1101873337
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016
Pages: 256
Language: English

“Enthralling and inventive. . . . Gass delights with devious wordplay, rhetorical gymnastics and luscious description.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“William Gass [is] our greatest living champion of the sentence.” —The New York Review of Books

 “Dazzlingly literary. . . . This is the kind of bracing writing that you can really feel, and it makes you feel more alive.” —Paste
“Mesmerizing. . . . Compelling.” —The Huffington Post

“Impressive. . . . Demonstrates Gass’s continued experiments with narrative form.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Powerful, passionate. . . . Gass at his best and most mysterious. . . . All of [the stories] are distinguished by Gass’s dry wit, verbal facility and rich prose style.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Brilliant. . . . A wonderful entry point into the Gassian literary cosmos.” —Electric Literature

“Quietly suspenseful, emotionally lustrous. . . . The literary equivalent of a Jackson Pollock painting, seething, trenchant, hilarious. . . . Gass is a mind-bending original of phenomenal brilliance, artistry, wit, and insight.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Excellent. . . . [Gass is] an exquisite maker of sentences, weighing his prose like a poet for rhythm, consonance, and intellectual heft.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Gass proves himself a master diviner, able to tap the deepest and most mysterious reservoirs.”Publishers Weekly