When will Vaughn's mother LeAnne falls in love with Bobby Markum, the star pitcher of the town ball club, she scandalizes not only her husband, son, and eccentric mother-in-law, but also all the God-fearing inhabitants of New Holland, Iowa. Looking back with an adult's more worldly perspective, but still wounded by her abrupt departure, Will recounts the story of his parents' courtship and marriage during the Second World War, his life on the family farm, the erosion of his parents' affection, and their memorable final break. Douglas Bauer's The Book of Famous Iowans is about the undoing of a marriage and, thus, a family as well as a childhood. And looming above them all is the extraordinary figure of Will's grandmother, who from her upstairs apartment presides over the fulminations beneath her, constructing her "Book of Famous Iowans" in an unceasing attempt to fathom the Janus-like faces of fame and infamy. This is a brilliant and memorable novel.
Used availability for Douglas Bauer's The Book of Famous Iowans
September 1997 : USA Hardback
September 2014 : USA Paperback
August 1998 : USA Paperback