Monday, 7 January 2013

Nicholson Baker

It's the birthday of the novelist and essayist Nicholson Baker, born in Rochester, New York (1957). He started out wanting to be a musician, and was good enough at the bassoon that he got into the Eastman School of Music. He planned to become a composer, and then one day he saw his mother laughing uncontrollably at a New York Times Book Review essay on golf by the writer John Updike. At that moment, Baker decided that instead of becoming a composer, he wanted to be a writer.
Baker has gone on to write a book about his love of John Updike, U and I: A True Story (1991), and a novel about a single erotic phone conversation between two strangers called Vox (1992), which was famously given as a gift to President Clinton by Monica Lewinski. He has also written Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper (2001), attacking libraries for getting rid of hard copies of newspapers and old books and replacing them with microfilm. His most recent book is The Way the World Works (2012), a collection of essays published last year. His breakthrough book, a slim volume well worth reading is The Mezzanine - about a man wondering what to do during his lunch hour

Nicholson Baker said, "Books: a beautifully browsable invention that needs no electricity and exists in a readable form no matter what happens." - information from the free online Writer's Almanac

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