Books by Lee Montgomery

THE THINGS BETWEEN US by Lee Montgomery
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2006

"Everyone with a terminally ill parent should read this spare account, which is damn near perfect."
The executive editor of Tin House magazine perfectly captures a middle-aged rite of passage: returning home to help a parent die. Read full book review >
BEETLE by David Hawcock
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1996

Beetle ($6.99; April 1, 1996; 8 pp.; 0-679-87566-2): This entry in the Bouncing Bugs series (other titles include Fly, ISBN 0-679- 87567-0, and Wasp, -87565-4) has pop-ups, foldout pages, and snippets of information aimed at budding entomologists about what the title insect eats, what its parts are called, etc. Too creepy for preschoolers but ideal for lower elementary children is the last spread, which, when the book covers are folded back and looped together with a covered elastic string, pops into a huge, realistically detailed bug, easily seen by the back rows. (Nonfiction. 4-8) Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 31, 1994

This anthology of recent experimental fiction selected by past and present editors of the Iowa Review is a mixed bag containing many a chuckle, an occasional yawn, and perhaps half a dozen true revelations. Experimental prose, William Gass reminds us in a helpful and entertaining foreword, is often motivated by a ``profound desire to be anywhere else, anywhere that hasn't Aunt Em, anywhere not over that sentimental rainbow.'' This desire makes itself strongly felt in a number of these ventures, whether through the tongue-in-cheek humor of Ronald Sukenick's erotica—whose every obscene act is easily conveyed even though half the story's words have been omitted; the wry fantasy of Laura Gerrity's story of a woman who can transform her lovers into circus animals; or the joyful and sly celebration of leisure time that informs John Barth's day in the life of a vacationing married couple. Sometimes, it's the characters themselves who long for escape—most notably the silent, bespectacled boy who must bear his athlete father's vain attempts at playing paterfamilias in a monologue by David Foster Wallace. Elsewhere, the literary intent appears less escapist than explosive—whether the tinder is words (Raymond Federman and George Chambers's surreal fable hidden within the prosaic conversation of a pair of bums) or assumptions of human decency (Cris Mazza's account of a woman's repeated rape by two colleagues). A few entries fall flat—notably Kathy Acker's bewildering account of the origin of prostitution and the end of the world, Susan Daitch's epistolary tale of a woman who believes, inexplicably, that a ghost inhabits her house, and Ben Marcus's murky evocation of a world in which sun and grass are the enemy of mankind. Nevertheless, the cumulative effect of the collection is invigorating and should bring recognition to some lesser-known writers whose originality deserves applause. Read full book review >