the way the world works


Baker, to be sure, has long practiced the art of indirection. His first novel, “The Mezzanine,” tells of a man buying shoelaces on his lunch break — although really, it’s about much more than that. “U and I” meditates on his fascination with John Updike by relying less on research than on memory: What, Baker asks, did Updike mean to him? Perhaps my favorite of his books, 2010’s “The Anthologist,” offers an extended monologue by a poet with writer’s block that becomes the very piece its narrator is unable to write. What these works share is a sense that how we think, our idiosyncratic dance with both experience and memory, defines who we are. This is a key to “The Way the World Works” as well.

more from David L. Ulin at the LA Times here.