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Pieces of Payne


Albert Goldbarth is "a dazzling virtuoso who can break your heart" (Joyce Carol Oates) How is Eliza's divorce connected to the rise of twentieth-century quantum physics? Why does the steamy promise of "a key unlocking a door at a cheap motel along I-35" lead us to a consideration of "Moby-Dick"? What does one physician's fake appointment book have to do with Columbus, werewolves, and Fanny Burney's famously excruciating nineteenth-century mastectomy? Albert Goldbarth sets his story of love's daily pleasures and griefs upon a foundation of ever-branching footnotes--from the strange worlds of supermarket tabloids and the Legion of Super-Heroes to more contemplative forays into gender politics, Dickens scholarship, and medical anomalies. By taking us on this mind-bending journey, he shows us how our lives are both confused and empowered by the multilayered universe around us. "Pieces of Payne" is the first novel by Goldbarth, a two-time winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Hide synopsis

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