(1932- ) US writer whose novels have taken aboard an assortment of nonsupernatural fantastic devices while also dealing with contemporary political figures and cultural Icons, thus establishing him as a key exemplar of Postmodernism. The Origin of the Brunists (1965) is a study of the psychology and dynamics of a Millennarian cult. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. (1968) examines an accountant's obsession with a fantasy Baseball league ruled by dice, and the manner in which he copes with a crisis in the imaginary world's affairs. Spanking the Maid (1982) is a vivid erotic fantasy, less intense than the brief tour de force "The Babysitter" – which can be found in Pricksongs and Descants (coll 1969) alongside the conjuring extravaganza "The Hat Act". Pinocchio in Venice (1991) is a heartfelt sequel to Collodi's original, also echoing Thomas Mann, in which the ageing protagonist reverts to wood. [BS]
other works: The Public Burning (1977); Aesop's Forest (1986 chap dos); A Night at the Movies, or You Must Remember This (1987); Whatever Happened to Gloomy Gus of the Chicago Bears? (coll 1988).
Robert Lowell Coover