Charles Baxter's picture

Charles Baxter

USA flag (b.1947)

Charles Baxter was born in Minneapolis and graduated from Macalester College, in Saint Paul. After completing graduate work in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo, he taught for several years at Wayne State University in Detroit. In 1989, he moved to the Department of English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and its MFA program. He now teaches at the University of Minnesota.

Baxter is the author of four novels, four collections of short stories, three collections of poems, and a collection of essays on fiction, and is the editor of other works.

Genres: Literary Fiction
Non fiction
Short stories
Through the Safety Net [short story] (1985)

National Book Award for Fiction Best Book nominee (2000) : The Feast of Love

Charles Baxter recommends
Bend This Heart (1989)
Jonis Agee
"In story after story, the mask drops away from gen-tility, and we come face to face with the truth. These -stories are beautiful because of their courage: there is nothing they are afraid to say"
Homestead (1998)
Rosina Lippi
"An intricately braided narrative about a place that will be, for most readers, at first foreign and then familiar. Homestead is a book of marvels."
How Far Is the Ocean from Here (2008)
Amy Shearn
"Amy Shearn’s first novel is a hugely auspicious debut. Sentence by sentence, the writing stays sharp and memorable, and the plot slyly takes us on a road-trip that is both frightening and comic."
The Quickening (2010)
Michelle Hoover
"Michelle Hoover's fine debut novel recreates for us a way of life and a set of personalities that have vanished from our current scene, and she does so with a solidity of detail that will impress these people and these places forever on your memory."
The Madwoman Upstairs (2016)
Catherine Lowell
"Terrific...A mystery, a love story, and a very dark comedy with thee Brontes."
Refuge (2017)
Dina Nayeri
"For anyone who has wondered about the distance between contemporary American and Iranian lives and thought, this book is essential reading. If any book can close that distance, this one can."
Tornado Weather (2017)
Deborah E Kennedy
"A wonderful novel. Deborah E. Kennedy's Tornado Weather has a very distinctive energy, and there is real pathos along with subtle humor. The characters are from a social class that is too often overlooked and misrepresented. Kennedy gives them their due, with all their resourcefulness, resilience, and suffering intact."
The Weight of a Piano (2019)
Chris Cander
"Like Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, The Weight of a Piano is a visionary work about the madness inherent in all art and the burdens of history that give rise to art and must be carried in turn. The miracle of this wonderful novel is to place an object, weighted with history, in a locale where we would never expect to find it, making the unexpected both palpable and real, and by doing so, this beautiful, intricate novel gives us one indelible picture after another, each one written in a different key."
Hannah's War (2020)
Jan Eliasberg
"At the center of this novel you will find love and physics entangled together in the life of a heroic woman whose bravery and brilliance helped to change the course of modern history. Jan Eliasberg's extraordinary novel is a fictionalized version of what really happened, and despite its serious subject matter, the story moves forward with great speed and power, giving off both heat and light. This is a great story about a woman of genius."
The Care of Strangers (2020)
Ellen Michaelson
"In this fine and wonderful novel, the work of medicine--of saving lives--is closely related to the work of saving oneself, of staying intact under the pressure of work and inherited prejudices. The novel's two protagonists are both heroes and outcasts, and Ellen Michaelson shows us an intricate world of medical care that she knows from the inside out. It's a fascinating story that's both clear-eyed and warm-hearted."
Happy for You (2022)
Claire Stanford
"A novel of fine intelligence, Happy for You is a witty send-up of our algorithm culture that builds to an unexpected and quite beautiful depth of feeling. A terrific debut."
Planes (2022)
Peter C Baker
"The effects of secrets, both personal and political, are on full display in Peter C. Baker's brilliant novel about America's recent history. With great subtlety, this novel quietly shows us what it's like to perform actions that cannot be acknowledged and what the psychic price is for such secrecy. With its fascinating cast of characters, this book is wonderfully readable, and I found its central conflicts to be completely relevant to our time, and unforgettable."
Sirens & Muses (2022)
Antonia Angress
"Brilliant . . . This narrative is intricate, moving, and often funny, and its scenes are beautifully crafted. . . . A wonderful book."
The Complicities (2022)
Stacey D'Erasmo
"In Stacey D'Erasmo's wonderful new novel, The Complicities, the past catches up to the present and overtakes it. All the scattered misdeeds and cut corners and malfeasances come together as crimes, big and small, and the characters either see the criminality or try to ignore it. But this suspenseful novel sees it all, and I found myself enlightened and deeply moved by its compelling story."
If I Survive You (2022)
Jonathan Escoffery
"Jonathan Escoffery's brilliant first book has some new things to tell us about racial identities, loneliness, and the search for love. It is so sharp-eyed and detailed that you feel that you are living through its scenes. The book is father-haunted and often very funny, and its prose is electric with intelligence. Somehow If I Survive You manages to be scary, humorous, and heartbreaking all at once. I loved this book."

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