On Our Shelves Now Published:
Dalkey Archive Press, 2/2012
For an author who won the National Book Award and a MacArthur fellowship and who's first novel inspired Thomas Pynchon to become a writer, William Gaddis is arguably the most woefully under-appreciated literary genius of the 20th century. While ostensibly about a 6th grader who builds a vast capitalist empire selling surplus undesirables from the payphone at his school, Gaddis's masterpiece is ultimately about overlooked genius, undeserved praise, and the cartoonish excesses of late stage capitalism. Written in 1974, Gaddis's novel prefigures the bailout and all of the financial debacles of the last decade, the sea of noise that are facebook, twitter, reality TV and many of the perversities of our present day immediacy culture. JR is a tragicomedy of the tallest order, one of the most hilarious and moving works of the 20th century.