Synopses & Reviews
When will Vaughn's mother LeAnne falls in love with Bobby Markum, the star pitcher of the town ball club, she scandalizes not only her husband, son, and eccentric mother-in-law, but also all the God-fearing inhabitants of New Holland, Iowa. Looking back with an adult's more worldly perspective, but still wounded by her abrupt departure, Will recounts the story of his parents' courtship and marriage during the Second World War, his life on the family farm, the erosion of his parents' affection, and their memorable final break. Douglas Bauer's The Book of Famous Iowans is about the undoing of a marriage and, thus, a family as well as a childhood. And looming above them all is the extraordinary figure of Will's grandmother, who from her upstairs apartment presides over the fulminations beneath her, constructing her "Book of Famous Iowans" in an unceasing attempt to fathom the Janus-like faces of fame and infamy. This is a brilliant and memorable novel.
"Classic ... dances through time and explores the conflict between home and independence.... A deeply affecting novel."--Chicago Tribune
"A novel of considerable nuance and power." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
About the Author
Douglas Bauer lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with his wife. He is the author of two previous novels, Dexterity and The Very Air (Owl Books, 0-8050-4301-2, $14.00), and a work of nonfiction, Prairie City, Iowa.