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Going For a Beer: Selected Short Fictions (Paperback)

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A classmate recently recommended the title story of Robert Coover’s Going for a Beer, and ever since I’ve been thirsty for more: more of the playful invention, more of the comic energy, more of the startling emotion that Coover miraculously packed into this (only 1100–word!) gem. Little did I know there was sixty-five years worth of Coover to discover, which Going for a Beer mercifully whittles down to thirty stories. Besides his enviable range––martians and invisible men on one end, babysitters and grandmas on the other––Coover has a knack for discovering absurdity in the mundane and mundanity in the absurd, for conjuring catharsis from even the silliest premises. Imagine George Saunders and Steven Millhauser at their least inhibited, then multiply by one-hundred––now you’re in Coover territory. I, for one, won’t be leaving anytime soon. 

— From Sam


“A mixtape of variations and a fugue on time from a postmodern master.… Familiar tales and conventional genres are made new, tinged with shuddering wonder and titillating humor.” —Yu-Yun Hsieh, The New York Times Book Review

Robert Coover has been playing by his own rules for more than half a century, earning the 1987 Rea Award for the Short Story as “a writer who has managed, willfully and even perversely, to remain his own man while offering his generous vision and versions of America.” Here, in this selection of his best stories, you will find an invisible man tragically obsessed by an invisible woman; a cartoon man in a cartoon car who runs over a real man who is arrested by a real policeman with cartoon eyes; a stick man who reinvents the universe. While invading the dreams and nightmares of others, Coover cuts to the core of how realism works.

About the Author

Robert Coover is the author of Huck Out West, among many other works of fiction. He is a pioneer in the field of electronic writing, and founded the International Writers Project, a freedom-to-write program, at Brown University. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Praise For…

A riveting, elusive, phantasmagoric, weird, delightful, grim and farcical collection.… [Coover] is one of our best writers, and this collection underscores that judgment with boundless desire and imaginative bliss.

This collection is astonishing.… [Coover] has managed to be literature’s guardian at the same time he has been its re-inventor and alternative.… Both astounding and fun to read.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393356649
ISBN-10: 0393356647
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: March 19th, 2019
Pages: 432
Language: English