Mulligan Stew

Mulligan Stew

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By Gilbert Sorrentino

ISBN: 9781628974485

Publication Date: 7/11/23

Widely regarded as Sorrentino's finest achievement, Mulligan Stew takes as its subject the comic possibilities of the modern literary imagination.

As avant-garde novelist Antony Lamont struggles to write a "new wave murder mystery," his frustrating emotional and sexual life wreaks havoc on his work-in-progress. As a result, his narrative (the very book we are reading) turns into a literary "stew" an uproariously funny melange of journal entries, erotic poetry, parodies of all kinds, love letters, interviews, and lists—as Hugh Kenner in "Harper's" wrote, "for another such virtuoso of the List you'd have to resurrect Joyce." Soon, Lamont's characters (on loan from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Flann O'Brien, James Joyce, and Dashiell Hammet) take on lives of their own, completely sabotaging his narrative. Sorrentino has vastly extended the possibilities of what a novel can be in this extraordinary work, which both parodies and pays homage to the art of fiction.


"Since all literature is susceptible to parody, why not, then, make parody literature? Gilbert Sorrentino has, with impressive results. Mulligan Stew has given me as much pleasure and intellectual joy as I have had from a novel in a long time." —Malcolm Bradbury, The New York Times

"A work of true comic genius, [Mulligan Stew] not only entertains and engages the intelligent reader, but also manages to shed light on the processes of literary creation, on the making of bad novels as well as good ones." —Al Lacy, Books and Art

"Mulligan Stew is utterly dazzling ... perhaps the most corrosive satire of the literary scene since early Aldous Huxley. This is a novel with all the stops pulled out, Gilbert Sorrentino’s masterpiece.”  —Washington Post Book World

"An imaginative and remarkable novel ... Mulligan Stew tells a story of literary creation and self-destruction in the metanovelistic mode of Kurt Vonnegut, John Barth, and Thomas Pynchon." —Greg Walters, Flint Journal  

"A virtuoso performance, a barroom brawl of thoughts about the anguish and exhilirtion of writing, a blunderbuss of literary parodies." —Donald Zochart, Chicago Sun-Times

"Sorrentino’s fullest repertoire of writing talent." —Jerome Klinkovitz, Contemporary Novelists

Biographical Information

In addition to his books of poetry and criticism, Gilbert Sorrentino (1929-2006) was the author of fourteen novels, including Imaginative Qualities of Actual ThingsThe Sky Changes, and Mulligan Stew. He has received numerous grants and awards throughout his career, including the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, two Guggenheim Fellowships, two NEA Fellowships and a Lannan Literary Award.