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  Wikipedia: Nicholson Baker

Wikipedia: Nicholson Baker
Nicholson Baker
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Nicholson Baker (born 1957) is a contemporary American novelist.

Mr. Baker's highly unconventional novels de-emphasize traditional elements (particularly plot), emphasizing instead a very close level of introspection and sifting of thoughts and memories on the part of the narrator.

Web postings and other data suggest that readers divide sharply in their evaluation of Mr. Baker's work. Many feel that the work wastes their time with trivia (Stephen King has notoriously compared Baker's work with fingernail clippings), but those who do enjoy the novels seem to appreciate them very much indeed. From the point of view of Baker's enthusiasts, his ability to minutely inspect and fully appreciate the contents of a human mind is fascinating and unique.

Nicholson Baker's books

Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers

;The Mezzanine: was Mr. Baker's first novel and represents the thoughts and memories of a young male office worker as he ascends an escalator up to the mezzanine of the office building where he works. The work created the genre in which Mr. Baker works and it perhaps its boldest representative. The book abounds in long footnotes, including a vivid paean to long footnotes.

;Vox: is a book about an episode of phone sex between two young single people, created something of a sensation, particularly when it emerged that it had been given as a gift by Monica Lewinsky to Bill Clinton. The sex scenes in the book, though quite vivid, nevertheless seem to evoke the basic approach that Baker took in The Mezzanine; in this case, he explores his accumulated thoughts and memories as they relate to sex. For some readers, Baker's obsession with detail apparently detracts from a hoped-for pornographic effect. Others, in reading the imaginative sex stories that the two protagonists make up for each another, have perceived a budding romantic affection; it is noteworthy that the last act they perform before hanging up is to exchange phone numbers.

;U and I: A True Story: is partly an appreciation of John Updike, partly a kind of self-exploration, a non-fiction study of how a reader engages with the work of an author.

;The Fermata: is perhaps the most controversial of Baker's books; to quote the dust jacket: "Arno Strine likes to stop time and take women's clothes off. He is hard at work on his autobiography, The Fermata. It proves in the telling to be a very provocative, funny, and altogether morally confused piece of work."


  • The Mezzanine (1990, Vintage; ISBN 0679725768)
  • Room Temperature (1990, Vintage; ISBN 0679734406)
  • Vox (1992, Vintage; ISBN 0679742115)
  • The Fermata (1994, Vintage; ISBN 0679759336)
  • U and I: A True Story (1995, Vintage; ISBN 0679735755)
  • The Everlasting Story of Nory (1998, Vintage; ISBN 0679734406)
  • A Box of Matches (2003, Random House; ISBN 0375502874)


  • The Size of Thoughts (1996, Vintage; ISBN 0679776249)
  • Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper (2001, Vintage; ISBN 0375726217)

External link:

A Nicholson Baker fan page


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona