Happy birthday, Robert Coover! 90, today, and still kicking fiction’s keister!
Celebrate by reading Big Other‘s folio dedicated to Coover, which we published last year in celebration of his 89th birthday! It features a new short fiction by Coover and appreciations of his writing from a host of great writers: Louis Armand, Elisabeth Ly Bell, Brian Evenson, Geoffrey Green, Ted Morrissey, and Lance Olsen.
The current folio is a Festschrift celebrating Robert Coover, commemorating his 89th birthday, yes, but also casting a critical lens on, primarily, some of his late works. It includes an excerpt from Open House, Coover’s recently completed novel; a collection of Coover’s thoughts on writing, reading, and more; and the following five pieces on his works:
- “The Illiterate, the Maimed,” by Louis Armand
- Robert Coover: An Appreciation, by Elisabeth Ly Bell
- Robert Coover and Fairy Tales, by Brian Evenson
- On the Trail of Robert Coover’s Noir: A Novel, by Geoffrey Green
- The Alluring Obscurity of Noir: A Lesson Before Writing, by Ted Morrissey
- He Can’t Remember, He’s No Longer Sure, Maybe, by Lance Olsen
Works by Robert Coover
- The Origin of the Brunists (1966)
- A Political Fable (1968)
- Pricksongs & Descants (1969)
- The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. (1968)
- The Public Burning (1977)
- Spanking the Maid (1982)
- In Bed One Night & Other Brief Encounters (1983)
- Gerald’s Party (1986)
- Whatever Happened to Gloomy Gus of the Chicago Bears (1987)
- A Night at the Movies, or, You Must Remember This (1987)
- Pinocchio in Venice (1991)
- Dr. Chen’s Amazing Adventure (1991)
- John’s Wife (1996)
- Briar Rose (1996)
- Ghost Town (1998)
- The Adventures of Lucky Pierre: Director’s Cut (2002)
- The Grand Hotels (of Joseph Cornell) (2002)
- Stepmother (2004)
- A Child Again (2005)
- Noir (2010)
- The Brunist Day of Wrath (2014)
- Huck Out West (2017)
- The Cat in the Hat for President (2018)
- Going for a Beer: Selected Short Fictions (2018)
Robert Coover is widely regarded as a true revolutionary in contemporary American literature and language. Coover’s first novel, The Origin of the Brunists, won the William Faulkner Award in 1966. He is also the recipient of the Brandeis University, American Academy of Arts and Letters; National Endowment of the Arts, Rhode Island Governor’s Arts, Pell, and Clifton Fadiman Awards; Rockefeller, Guggenheim, Lannan Foundation, and DAAD fellowships; and the Dugannon Foundation’s REA award for his lifetime contribution to the short story. He is the author of The Origin of the Brunists, A Political Fable, Pricksongs & Descants, The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop., The Public Burning, Spanking the Maid, In Bed One Night & Other Brief Encounters, Gerald’s Party, Whatever Happened to Gloomy Gus of the Chicago Bears, A Night at the Movies, or, You Must Remember This, Pinocchio in Venice, Dr. Chen’s Amazing Adventure, John’s Wife, Briar Rose, Ghost Town, The Adventures of Lucky Pierre: Director’s Cut, The Grand Hotels (of Joseph Cornell), Stepmother, A Child Again, Noir, The Brunist Day of Wrath, Huck Out West, The Cat in the Hat for President, and Going for a Beer: Selected Short Fictions. Residing in Providence, Rhode Island, Coover is T.B. Stowell Professor Emeritus in Literary Arts at Brown University.
Louis Armand is a Prague writer, theorist, visual artist. His novels include The Garden (Director’s Cut, GlassHouse, The Combinations, Abacus, and others. His theoretical works include Videology 1, Solicitations, Event States, Literate Technologies, and others. He’s the editor of Mind Factory, Pornotopias, Avant-Post, Hidden Agendas: Unreported Poetics, and other books. His collections of poetry include East Broadway Rundown, The Rube Goldberg Variations, Indirect Objects, and others.
Elisabeth Ly Bell‘s primary interest is in contemporary American fiction, and her teaching includes creation myths, fairy tales, and topics in American culture. Her writing has appeared in Delta, Critique, and Review of Contemporary Fiction, and other journals.
Geoffrey Green is the author of Novel vs. Fiction; Literary Criticism and the Structures of History: Erich Auerbach and Leo Spitzer, Freud, and Nabokov; The Vineland Papers: Literary Takes on Pynchon’s Novel, and Voices in a Mask. Green has recently published critical articles in Literature and Psychoanalysis; Interdisciplinary Humanities; Critique; Review of Contemporary Fiction; and Nabokov Studies. His recent fiction has been published in Fourteen Hills; Stanford Humanities Review; Fiction International; and William and Mary Review. He is Executive Editor of Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction.
John Madera has published work in Conjunctions, Bookforum, American Book Review, The Believer, Review of Contemporary Fiction, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he edits Big Other and work as a freelance book publicist.
Ted Morrissey is the author of The Artist Spoke, Mrs Saville, and Crowsong for the Stricken, First Kings and Other Stories, and other books. In 2020, he launched The Tunnel at 25, an online symposium dedicated to William H. Gass’s masterpiece.
Lance Olsen is the author of many novels, including My Red Heaven, Dreamlives of Debris, Theories of Forgetting, Calendar of Regrets, Head in Flames, and Skin Elegies; five nonfiction books, five short-story collections, a poetry chapbook, and two anti-textbooks about experimental writing, including Architectures of Possibility: After Innovative Writing; as well as editor of two collections of essays about innovative contemporary fiction. Recipient of numerous awards, he teaches experimental narrative theory and practice at the University of Utah.