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Amateur Barbarians: A Novel


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About the Author

Robert Cohen is the author of three previous novels, The Organ Builder, The Here and Now, and Inspired Sleep, and a collection of short stories. Winner of a Lila Atcheston Wallace -Reader's Digest Writers Award, the Ribalow Prize, The Pushcart Prize, and a Whiting Award, he has published short fiction in a variety of publications -- including Harpers, GQ, The Paris Review and Ploughshares. He has taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop, Harvard University, and Middlebury College. He lives in Vermont.


" How can a book about life's most serious questions contain so many big laughs? Only a writer of Cohen's wit and intelligence could have pulled it off. He writes with the acuity of a psychoanalyst and the compassion of a saint. His superb prose style is as good as it gets." -- Sigrid Nunez, author of "The Last of Her Kind"

"If there's one thing that Robert Cohen's protagonists are good at, it's running in place. His characters trail around a long list of aggrievements, especially when it comes to themselves, and are continually affecting in the comic resourcefulness of their dyspepsia and pessimism. What's most moving about them, though, is the extent to which, as they try to figure out just how this maturity business operates, they perform the act of faith of behaving like better people in the hope that at some point that behavior might become the truth. "Amateur Barbarians" is hilarious and wise and may be his best work yet." -- Jim Shepard, author of "Like You'd Underst and, Anyway"

"Robert Cohen's satirical eye is sharper than ever -- who else could have captured so perfectly the struggles of middle age? A very funny and very smart novel." -- Andrea Barrett, author of "The Air We Breathe" and "Ship Fever"

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