The narrator of this book is by turns funny, vulnerable, frustrating,
charming, haughty, brilliant, and pathetic. In other words, he may be
the most lovable, authentic character ever to appear in American
literature. This book continues to jangle around in your head for weeks
after reading it, much the way a particularly catchy metered stanza
September 2009 Indie Next List
“Paul Chowder, an infrequently-published poet, needs to come clean with his life (as well as his office). His girlfriend has left him, he's amassing an incredible credit card debt, and the deadline for an introduction to a poetry anthology he's editing is fast approaching. What ensues is a vivid collection of poetic insight, passages of anguished poets, and hilarious selections of Paul's daily misses and re-misses. The Anthologist is a story readers should not miss.”
— Michael Karpus, Books & Books at Bal Harbour Shops, Bal Harbour, FL
The Anthologist is narrated by Paul Chowder -- a once-in-a-while-published kind of poet who is writing the introduction to a new anthology of poetry. He's having a hard time getting started because his career is floundering, his girlfriend Roz has recently left him, and he is thinking about the great poets throughout history who have suffered far worse and deserve to feel sorry for themselves. He has also promised to reveal many wonderful secrets and tips and tricks about poetry, and it looks like the introduction will be a little longer than he'd thought.
What unfolds is a wholly entertaining and beguiling love story about poetry: from Tennyson, Swinburne, and Yeats to the moderns (Roethke, Bogan, Merwin) to the staff of The New Yorker, what Paul reveals is astonishing and makes one realize how incredibly important poetry is to our lives. At the same time, Paul barely manages to realize all of this himself, and the result is a tenderly romantic, hilarious, and inspired novel.