The Book of Famous Iowans

A New York Times Notable Book
Critical praise for The Book of Famous Iowans

“Much of the extraordinary narrative power in Douglas Bauer’s third novel . . .
accumulates through the retrospective musings and reflections of Will Vaughn,
a grown man determined to pay elegiac tribute to the single, haunting love of
his life – a mother who cherished then abandoned him . . . Douglas Bauer is a
consummate storyteller, his prose is hypnotic, charged with beauty and pain,
his characters drawn with intelligent, pristine detail.The Book of Famous Iowans
is a novel . . . possessing tremendous heart and that much-less-affable quality, soul.”
Melissa Pritchard, The Chicago Tribune Book Review
“The voice that Mr. Bauer has created . . . is a wonderfully supple, easily
modulated voice, equally capable of conveying boyish confusion and grown-up
melancholy, youthful naivete and adult skepticism. He makes us both feel the
young Will’s shock, anger and disbelief as he learns of his mother’s betrayal,
and appreciate Will’s grown-up efforts to come to terms with those long-ago events.”
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“What makes the book so compelling is Douglas Bauer’s meticulous, poignant
rendering of the insular rural setting and the characters . . . The Book of Famous
is a stunning exploration of childhood loss and its lasting reverberations.”
Lynne Sharon Schwartz, The Wall Street Journal


Excerpt from The Book of Famous Iowans (Download .pdf)


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