Frederick Barthelme has published sixteen books with publishers such as Viking Penguin, Houghton Mifflin, Doubleday, Grove, Simon & Schuster and Little Brown, and over 70 short stories and nonfiction pieces in magazines including The New Yorker, Esquire, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Harper’s, TriQuarterly, Antioch Review, Epoch, Ploughshares, The New York Times, Men’s Health, Playboy, and many others. He directed the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi from 1977-2010, where he ran graduate workshops for M.A. and Ph.D. candidates and edited the literary magazine Mississippi Review.
Barthelme’s most recent book is the novel Waveland published by Doubleday in 2009 in hardcover and 2010 in paper. It is set in Waveland, Mississippi, a year after hurricane Katrina leveled the place. The book is available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle versions at Amazon and elsewhere.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In his newest novel of dysfunction and love along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Barthelme, as he did so incisively in Elroy Nights (2003), dissects middle-age malaise. His characters often seem shipwrecked, and in this off-kilter story of death and divorce, they pretty much are after Katrina transforms the modest beachfront town of Waveland into “ten miles of debris.” Barthelme offers stunning descriptions of the hurricane and its aftermath as he tracks unmoored Vaughn, an architect who has lost his passion for buildings and romance after his reliably unpredictable wife ends their marriage. Brooding, funny, and oddly passive, Vaughn has wandered into a companionable relationship with Greta, the prime suspect in her husband’s murder, and a skittish friendship with hair-trigger Eddie, who lost a hand in the first Gulf War. Meanwhile, Vaughn’s widower father endures a cruelly limited existence. In this powerfully atmospheric story of loneliness and risk, Barthelme slyly conceals emotional and philosophical intensity beneath the peculiarity of circumstance, the dazzle of hilarious repartee, and the luster of gorgeous prose. –Donna Seaman –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Frederick Barthelme is a master.”–The New York Times
“Sublime. . . . Barthelme seems to argue, we might still find a separate peace from the terrors of the wider world.”–Esquire
“Sophisticated, and wry. . . . A triumph of meaning—and writing. . . . A treasure of a book.”—Buffalo News
“Waveland is signature Barthelme.”—Bookforum
“It’s impossible to conceive of any writer doing what he does any better than he does it.”—Margaret Atwood, The New York Times Book Review
“As clever and precise as a French farce; except that instead of doors opening sharply on one side and slamming shut on the other, these dangle indecisively ajar.”—The Boston Globe
“One of the most distinctive prose stylists since Hemingway.” —Vogue
“Barthelme’s latest is about loss…but it is also a recognition that starting over, however involuntarily, forces people out of habit and into building something that might hold up better this time.”–Maud Newton, NPR
“Barthelme’s eye and ear unerringly capture the moment he lives in.”—The Los Angeles Times
“Well-written and entertaining.”—St. Louis Tribune
“Illustrates the beauty that sympathetic, precise examination of people and places, stripped of any grandiosity or overcomplication, can convey.”—Philadelphia City Paper