The Anthologist

This wonderful novel by the author of The Mezzanine and Human Smoke is the story of Paul Chowder, poet of little note, who is struggling as he tries to finish the introduction to an anthology of rhymed verse. In Baker’s inimitable style, Chowder informs the reader in crystal-clear detail about the tropes and conventions of […]

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

This brief memoir tells the horrific story of Jean-Dominique Bauby. The editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, in 1995 Bauby was stricken by a kind of stroke at the age of 43, leaving him in a condition medical science refers to as “locked-in syndrome.” He is essentially paralyzed, able only to blink his left eye in order […]

Beauty Salon

This short (63 pages) novel, translated from Spanish, examines a deadly plague that has hit the inhabitants of an unnamed Mexican city. The narrator has converted his beauty salon into a kind of hospice where those afflicted can spend their dying days. The narrator actually tells us little about the nature of the plague itself […]