- Author: Gordon, Jaimy
- Binding: Clothbound
- Pages: 144
- Size: 6 x 9"
- Pub. Year: 1980
- ISBN: 0-914232-38-X
- In Stock: No
Available in trade paperback with jacket: Add to CartNote: 2nd edition, 1980. Hardcover library edition. No jacket.
Here is one of the finest comic novels to appear in the last half century. Jaimy Gordon's work deserves comparison with that of the best of Flann O'Brien, Angela Carter, or Witold Gombrowicz. Shamp of the City-Solo is also the cornerstone of this publishing house, first appearing some thirty years ago under Bruce McPherson's first imprint, Treacle Press. It very quickly became an underground sensation.
This "fantasy novel" occurs in what may be thought of as a dystopian parallel-universe, a world recognizable to ours but set in an odd remove where the hero's hunger for fame shows its mythic origin. Hughbury Shamp is the reluctant teen-age hero who becomes apprenticed to three "masters" at the West Poolesville Depot on the Sumpsky Prospect, across the River Sump from Big Yolk, the City-Solo. his education involves a series of preposterous and hilarious misadventures with the likes of the impresario Sergei Shipoff, Dr. Harry Analarge, and the World Friar Tapsvine, all the while he is being propelled toward stardom as prize-winning speaker at the murderously competitive Arslevering Ox-Roast.
"Style is what matters most here...but the clear and simple lines of the plot reinforce and emphasize the style...Even at its most visual, Jaimy Gordon's style goes beyond, or beside, the visual and achieves its most remarkable tones, not so much in our mind's eye, as where the intellect dances among words...I think it gloriously funny. I think it also wise, both under and on the surface -- after four or five times through it I begin to suspect it may be inexhaustible."
-- Keith Waldrop, Margins
Jaimy Gordon was born in Baltimore, took degrees from Antioch College and Brown University, and now teaches at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College,...