Paradise /

Simon, a middle-aged architect separated from his wife, is given the chance to live out a stereotypical male fantasy: freed from the travails of married life, he ends up living with three nubile lingerie models who use him as a sexual object. Set in the 1980s, there's further tension between Si...

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Main Author: Barthelme, Donald
Format: Book
Language:English
Published:Normal, IL : Dalkey Archive Press, 2005
Edition:1st Dalkey Archive ed
Series:American literature series
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Main Author:Barthelme, Donald
Summary:Simon, a middle-aged architect separated from his wife, is given the chance to live out a stereotypical male fantasy: freed from the travails of married life, he ends up living with three nubile lingerie models who use him as a sexual object. Set in the 1980s, there's further tension between Simon's desire to exploit this stereotypical fantasy and his (as well as the author's) desire to treat the women as human beings, despite the women's claims that Simon can't distinguish between their personalities. Employing a variety of forms, Barthelme gracefully plays with this setup, creating a story that's not just funny--although it's definitely that--but actually quite melancholy, as Simon knows that the women's departure is inevitable, that this "paradise" will come to an end, and that he'll be left with only an empty house, booze, and regrets about chances not taken. --Powells

"No other word for it: a charming book." Peter S. Prescott, Newsweek

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Physical Description:208 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN:1564784037 (pbk. : alk. paper)
9781564784032 (pbk. : alk. paper)
Author Notes:

Donald Barthelme was born on April 7, 1931, and was one of the major U.S. short story writers and novelists of the late twentieth century. Barthelme satirized American life. Born in Philadelphia, Barthelme spent part of his early life in Houston, Texas, and began to write fiction while working as a journalist, director of an art museum and university publicist. These occupations became fuel for his creative fire. His arsenal of techniques included parodies of television shows, radio plays and recipes, long and elaborate metaphors, complex dream sequences, and a break-neck narrative pace.

After the publication of his first collection, Come Back Dr. Caligari (1964), Barthelme became a full-time writer of short stories and novels. The latter included Snow White (1967), The Dead Father (1975), and Paradise (1986). Barthelme also published three more short story collections, 60 Stories (1981), Overnight to Many Distant Cities (1983), and 40 Stories (1987).

Barthelme died of cancer in 1989.

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