Nicholson Baker, Writer

“Bombs and Bibliographies: The Secret Life of the Library of Congress”
Una's Lecture
Photo of Nicholson Baker.
Monday, Apr 15, 2002 | 7:30 pm
Morrison Reading Room, Doe Library
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United States

Novelist and nonfiction writer Nicholson Baker is the author of The Mezzanine; Room Temperature; Vox; The Fermata; and The Everlasting Story of Nory, among others. Often addressing provocative topics such as voyeurism and planned assassination, Baker’s work is known for its focus on minute details and careful characterizations through the exploration of his characters' and narrators' stream of consciousness. Baker has also published a meditation on his relationship with John Updike, U and I, and a collection of essays entitled The Size of Thoughts.

In addition, Baker is a fervent critic of what he perceives as libraries' unnecessary destruction of paper-based media. His book, Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper won the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award in general nonfiction. In this influential—and controversial—study, Baker argues that the preservation of the intellectual and cultural record of a society are matters of crucial concern, and that librarians, even those deeply concerned with the preservation of that record, erred in replacing newspapers with microfilm.