Understanding Richard Powers

Understanding Richard Powers presents an introduction to one of the most important and admired writers to emerge in the post-Pynchon era of American literature. Joseph Dewey contends that while Powers’s novels investigate the most pressing issues of the new millennium, the novelist is most deeply interested in the same thematic argument that consumed Ralph Waldo Emerson and Emily Dickinson-the problem of the self, the deep and unshakable loneliness that has always been at the heart of the American literary imagination. Through an overview of Powers’s career and close readings of his novels, which include Galatea 2.2, Prisoner’s Dilemma, The Gold Bug Variations, Operation Wandering Soul, Gain, and Plowing the Dark, Dewey places Powers in context as a major voice in the first generation born entirely within the era of television and the computer and shows us how Powers reminds his readers that we have never been so connected and yet never quite so alone.

2008, University of South Carolina Press ISBN 978-1570037849

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