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Paperback Details
  • 04/2016
  • 978-0-9966888-1-9
  • 373 pages
  • $24.95
Rob Couteau
Author
More Collected Couteau: Essays and Interviews
Rob Couteau, author

Adult; Literary Essays, Critiques & Biographies; (Market)

The interview subjects in this collection include Michael Korda, the former editor in chief at Simon and Schuster and the author of "The Charmed Life"; Robert Roper, author of "Nabokov in America: On the Road to Lolita"; the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Justin Kaplan (the biographer of Mark Twain and Walt Whitman); Professor Jeffrey Jackson, author of "Paris Under Water" and "Making Jazz French"; Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno, author of "E. E. Cummings: A Biography"; James Dempsey, author of "The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer"; and Dr. Albert Hoffman, the discoverer of LSD and the author of "LSD: My Problem Child." MORE COLLECTED COUTEAU also includes essays on Hubert Selby, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, and the previously unknown family history of Marion Morehouse, the wife of E. E. Cummings and the first "supermodel." Abridged versions of some of these pieces were featured in the "Evergreen Review," "Rain Taxi Review of Books," "Emerging Civil War," and "Open Road Integrated Media," the e-book publisher of "Last Exit to Brooklyn" author Hubert Selby.

Reviews
Couteau’s second collection, after Collected Couteau, includes essays on topics such as Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and the work of Hubert Selby Jr., as well as conversations with various figures, many of them literary biographers. Couteau’s essays are informal, fervent, and well-versed examinations of the work or author at hand. At their best, they include fascinating insights into the significance of a writer like Selby. In Couteau’s essay on Tropic of Cancer, however, his thoughtful examination of Henry Miller as a man and writer is overshadowed by a weak defense of the book against charges of misogyny. The interviews are uniformly strong and include conversations with Michael Korda on T.E. Lawrence, Justin Kaplan on Walt Whitman, and Robert Roper on Vladimir Nabokov. Not all of them focus on literature: author Jeffrey Jackson covers the 1910 flood of Paris and why it’s relatively forgotten, and Robert De Sena, in one of the best interviews, discusses his life as a gang member turned community activist. Couteau’s passion and wealth of knowledge are obvious throughout the book, if sometimes to the point of overindulgence, and should appeal to many readers. (BookLife)
James Dempsey, au­thor of The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer

“Good luck trying to pin down Rob Couteau. Name the genre, and Couteau has almost certainly been there and done that. Poet, novelist, essayist, critic, journalist, mem­oirist, and travel writer, Couteau is not one to be hampered by constraints. He passes easily from one form of literature to another as if the borders between them did not exist for him. Perhaps they don’t … He is an independent scholar in every meaning of the word – unaligned with any institution except for the literary and artistic canon he so loves, and a thinker who comes to his own conclusions … This collection gives the reader a good sampling of Couteau’s literary and scholarly talents, not the least of which are his interviews with writers he admires. Having spent many years as a journalist, I believe I have some ability to recognize and admire an artful interviewer, and Couteau is a master. His preparation is comprehensive, meticulous, and profound. His understanding of the process of writing in so many genres allows him insights into the particular problems faced by the writers he interviews. His style is conversational and relaxed, but deceptively so; he is always in control of the interview. This said, however, when a sudden fact or insight takes the interview down un­expected pathways, Couteau has the aesthetic nimbleness to recognize the opening and to follow it. This collection features interviews with biographers, mem­oir­ists, historians, an inner-city antiviolence activist, and the creator of LSD. You’ll also find herein Couteau’s writings on literature, which I hesitate to call criticism since they lack the worst features of much literary criticism, which can be clogged with so much pretentiousness, cant, and philosophical obfuscation that it would take a plunger of Brobdingnagian proportions to restore a healthy flow. Couteau’s essays are often rhapsodic appreciations and evocations of the work under study, and are stuffed with both insights and joy.”– An award-winning journalist and a professor of literature at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, James Dempsey is the au­thor of The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer (University Press of Florida, 2014).

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 04/2016
  • 978-0-9966888-1-9
  • 373 pages
  • $24.95

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