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Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal: Writer Against The Grain


Gore Vidal, known for such best-sellers as The City and the Pillar, Burr, Lincoln, and Myra Breckinridge, is a household name. The controversial Vidal ran for Congress in 1960, and set sparks flying with his public debates challenging William F. Buckley and Norman Mailer. Although one of America's most admired and prolific writers, Vidal has been steadfastly ignored or impugned by many critics. This is partly owing to the vast scope of his writings, which include more than twenty novels, half a dozen plays, dozens of screenplays, countless essays and book reviews, political commentary, and short stories; how do the critics approach such a writer? There has also been backlash against Vidal, whose radical polemics and undisguised contempt for those whom he has called "the hacks and hicks of academe" have hardly endeared him to the critical establishment.Gore Vidal: Writer Against the Grain is the first collection of critical essays to approach this important American writer in an attempt to rectify the unwarranted underestimation of his work. Jay Parini has drawn from the best of previously published criticism and commissioned fresh articles by leading contemporary critics to construct a comprehensive portrait of Vidal's multifaceted and memorable career. Writers as diverse as Harold Bloom, Stephen Spender, Catharine R. Stimpson, Richard Poirier, and Italo Calvino examine Vidal's work in their own highly individual ways, and each finds a different Vidal to celebrate, chide, recollect, or view close up. Also included is a recent interview with Parini in which Vidal discusses his career and his troubled relationship with the reviewers.The Vidal that finally emerges from these essays is a writer of undeniable weight and importance. As readers will agree, Gore Vidal: Writer Against the Grain establishes his rightful role as one of the premier novelists and leading critical observers of this century.



  • Condition: --
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
    • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
    • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Paperback
  • Sold by: --
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • ISBN-13: 9780231072090
  • ISBN: 0231072090
  • Publication Year: 1995
  • Edition: Reprint
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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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