Wittgenstein's Mistress

10 best books like Wittgenstein's Mistress (David Markson): The Tunnel, Mulligan Stew, Darconville’s Cat, A Night at the Movies, Or, You Must Remember This: Fictions, Island People, Impossible Object, The Age of Wire and String, You Bright and Risen Angels, Women and Men, Take Five

AuthorWilliam H. Gass
Thirty years in the making, William Gass's second novel first appeared on the literary scene in 1995, at which time it was promptly hailed as an indisputable masterpiece. The story of a middle aged professor who, upon completion of his massive historical study, Guilt and Innocence in Hitler's Germany,...
AuthorGilbert Sorrentino
Mulligan Stew takes as its subject the comic possibilities of the modern literary imagination. As avant-garde novelist Antony Lamont struggles to write a "new wave murder mystery," his frustrating emotional and sexual life wreaks havoc on his work-in-progress. As a result, his narrative (the very...
AuthorAlexander Theroux
The main story is a love affair between Alaric Darconville, an English professor at a Virginia women's college, and one of his students, Isabel.

The style relies on complex syntax and unusual words. The satire is broad, and uses southern culture cliches but is often very funny. Some of the names...
AuthorRobert Coover

What kind of play is this? Who took the light away? And why is everybody laughing?

I'm in awe at the power of Richard Coover not only to capture in words the magic of an eminently visual medium, but also at his dismantling and reassembling the sacred monsters of the silver screen that have become...
AuthorColeman Dowell
In this complex novel, a gay man who has fled the violence of the city for an island retreat spends his time keeping a journal and writing stories. He invents a female alter-ego who haunts him, as does the ghost of the murderer who occupied his house in the 19th century; ultimately these hauntings are manifestations...
AuthorNicholas Mosley
"The object of life is impossible; one cuts out fabrication and creates reality. A mirror is held to the back of the head and one's hand has to move the opposite way from what was intended."

In these closing lines from Impossible Object, one has embodied both Nicholas Mosley's subject of love...
AuthorBen Marcus
In The Age of Wire and String, hailed by Robert Coover as "the most audacious literary debut in decades," Ben Marcus welds together a new reality from the scrapheap of the past. Dogs, birds, horses, automobiles, and the weather are some of the recycled elements in Marcus's first collection—part fiction,...
AuthorWilliam T. Vollmann
In the jungles of South America, on the ice fields of Alaska, the plains of the Midwest, and the streets of San Francisco, a fearsome battle rages. The insects are vying for world domination; the inventors of electricity stand in evil opposition. Bug , a young man, rebels against his own kind and joins...
AuthorJoseph McElroy
Beginning in childbirth and entered like a multiple dwelling in motion, Women and Men embraces and anatomizes the 1970s in New York from experiments in the chaotic relations between the sexes to the flux of the city itself. Yet through an intricate overlay of scenes, voices, fact, and myth, this expanding...
AuthorD. Keith Mano
Welcome to the world of Simon Lynxx and to one of the great overlooked novels of the 1980s. Con-man, filmmaker (currently working on producing "Jesus 2001", what he calls the religious equivalent of The Godfather, best known for his movie "The Clap That Took Over the World"), descendent of a wealthy...
AuthorSergio de la Pava
Casi is a hotshot public defender working on the front line of America’s War on Drugs. So far he’s on the winning side. He’s never lost a case. But nothing lasts forever, and pride like his has a long way to fall.

Funny, smart and always surprising, A Naked Singularity speaks a language all...
AuthorRikki Ducornet
Made speechless by her eccentric father, the beautiful Etheria is traded for a piece of precious jade. Memory, her sister, tells her story, that of a childhood enlivened by Lewis Carroll and an orangutan named Dr. Johnson and envenomed by the pernicious courtship of Radulph Tubbs, Queen Victoria's...
AuthorStanley Elkin
Exuberance is the perfect descriptor for Elkin’s works. Like his bunkmate Bill Gass, his fictions swing to their own rhythms, refuse to conform to any cosily crafted preconception of a satisfying sellable sentence, and demonstrate a fearless dexterity over the English language that would make...
AuthorStanley Crawford
Forty years ago I first linked up with Unguentine and we made love on twin-hulled catamarans, sails a-billow, bless the seas... So begins the courtship of a certain Unguentine to the woman we know only as Mrs. Unguentine, the chronicler of their sad, fantastical tale. For forty years, they sail the seas...
Alphabetical Africa
AuthorWalter Abish
Alphabetical Africa, Walter Abish's delightful first novel, is an extraordinary linguistic tour de force, high comedy set in an imaginary dark continent that expands and contracts with ineluctable precision, as one by one the author adds the letters of the alphabet to his book, and then subtracts...
AuthorCarole Maso
From her hospital bed on this, her last day on earth, she makes one final ecstatic voyage. People, places, offhand memories, and imaginary things drift in and out of Ava's consciousness and weave their way through the narrative. The voices of her three former husbands emerge: Francesco, a filmmaker...
AuthorJacques Roubaud
Part novel, part autobiography, The Great Fire of London is one of the great literary undertakings of our time. Both exasperating and moving, cherished by its readers, it has its origins in the author's attempt to come to terms with the death of his young wife Alix, whose presence both haunts and gives...
AuthorWilliam Gaddis
This story of raging comedy and despair centers on the tempestuous marriage of an heiress and a Vietnam veteran. From their "carpenter gothic" rented house, Paul sets himself up as a media consultant for Reverend Ude, an evangelist mounting a grand crusade that conveniently suits a mining combine...
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