Nicholson Baker is an American novelist and essayist. Born in 1957 in New York City Baker got his Degree in English from Haverford College. He made a name for himself for constantly criticizing libraries like the San Francisco Public Library for habits such as the unnecessary destruction of paper-based media like old books in favor of Microfilm.
Order of Nicholson Baker Non-Fiction Books
|1||U and I||1992|
|2||The Size of Thoughts||1996|
|5||The Way the World Works||2012|
Order of Nicholson Baker Standalone Novels
|5||The Everlasting Story of Nory||1998|
|6||A Box of Matches||2003|
|7||House of Holes||2004|
Order of The Paul Chowder Series
The American Newspaper Repository, the author’s non-profit organization, was purposed towards curbing such behavior by collecting old newspapers that were destined for destruction by libraries. Baker often opposed suggestions by libraries that their actions were driven by the decay of paper material. Instead, he accused them of nurturing an obsession with technology, saying that they were doing a disservice to the public.
As an author, Nicholson Baker has written about everything from politics to history and sex. He has experimented with time manipulation, library systems, and even poetry. The author has written fiction and non-fiction. He has also contributed to anthologies like “The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Eighth Annual” and “American Gothic Tales”. Nicholson Baker is a writer in every possible sense; the author hasn’t been restricted to any one medium, instead making an effort to put his thoughts out on any subject that might catch his fancy.
Nicholson Baker Awards
Because Nicholson Baker has produced so much material in a wide variety of mediums, tackling all manner of subjects, it isn’t surprising that he has garnered so many accolades, with people recognizing his efforts in history, on Wikipedia and even his conflict with libraries.
Most notable of these awards has been the James Madison Freedom of Information Award, a San-Francisco based accolade Baker received for his efforts to counter the paper-destroying habits of libraries.
As far as his literature writing efforts are concerned, Baker received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2001. The prize was given to him for his work on “Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper” a nonfiction book.
While the James Madison prize was given to Baker in recognition of all his efforts in the arena of libraries, the National Book Critics Circle prize was specifically awarded to him for the book he wrote.
He also took home the International Hermann Hesse Prize in 2014.
Best Nicholson Baker Books
A lot of people know Nicholson Baker simply as an essayist. They have read his articles in journals and newspapers and are unaware of his endeavors as a writer of fiction and nonfiction books. For such individuals, these two books should prove revelatory when it comes to understanding Nicholson Baker’s style:
The Anthologist: Paul Chowder is in a difficult place. The occasionally published poet just lost his girlfriend. Assigned the task of writing the introduction to a new anthology of poetry, Chowder is struggling to kick things off.
His struggle leads him to ponder on the great poets that came before him, men and women who were burdened by far greater challenges and, hence, deserved every ounce of sympathy they received.
Having already promised to bring to light all the wonderfully spicy secrets of poetry, Chowder doesn’t know whether he will be able to deliver when the introduction is taking so long.
The narrator of “The Anthologist”, Chowder partakes in an intriguing tale of love about poetry, revealing the manner in which the art form can change lives.
Nicholson Baker introduces the world of poetry to his readers through the tale and woes of Paul Chowder. This book could have been a very dry and very technical presentation; instead, readers are treated to the hilarious portrayal of a man struggling to put his feelings and thoughts about poetry on paper.
The streams of consciousness readers are treated to from Paul Chowder are as bizarre as a novel can get, giving audiences a glimpse into Nicholson Baker’s approach to writing; an approach that abandons typical narrative for something more interesting.
The Mezzanine: The Narrator of “The Mezzanine” is returning from work after purchasing some shoelaces when he encounters some dramatic occurrences on the escalator of an office building.
As intriguing as that description might sound, there are no hidden layers in this book. The Mezzanine is literary a book about a man going up an escalator. And as he ascends, he thinks about things, a lot of things, some of them interesting, others a little less so; this novel about mundane, everyday events is not even the most bizarre of Nicholson Baker’s books.
However, it perfectly illustrates the sort of author he is.