Gass, William Howard

Gass, William Howard, 1924–2017, American author, b. Fargo, N.Dak., grad. Kenyon College, 1947; Ph.D. Cornell, 1954. From 1969 to 1999 he was a professor of philosophy at Washington Univ., St. Louis. Gass rejected traditional realism and experimented with the novel's form, and has been compared to Sherwood Anderson in his treatment of “grotesque” characters and to James Joyce in his wordplay and linguistic complexity. His works include the novels Omensetter's Luck (1966), The Tunnel (1995), and Middle C (2013), the “novella-essay” Willie Master's Lonesome Wife (1968), Cartesian Sonata and Other Novellas (1998), and works of literary criticism, including Fiction and Figures of Life (1970), Habitations of the Word (1985), Finding a Form (1996), Reading Rilke (2000), and Tests of Time (2002). Eyes (2015) is a collection of two novellas and four short stories, each experimental in language and form.

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