About the author: Leon Lewis is a Professor in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. He is the author of Henry Miller: The Major Writings (Schocken/Random House) and numerous articles on contemporary American and British writers.2002 0-7734-7310-6
This is the first full-length critical study of an unusually versatile and accomplished author, discussing at length all the most ambitious novels of William Kotzwinkle. In addition to individual analytical examinations of his most prominent work, including The Fan Man and his exceptionally successful adaptation of the film E. T. The study identifies patterns of coherence, recurring themes and subjects, and strategies of comic invention.
“If the critical void concerning the career and writings of contemporary author William Kotzwinkle has been inadequately noted, Leon Lewis’s study demonstrates that such attention is overdue. His book goes far toward filling this void, and it should inspire further research into this author’s significant work. . .in a worthy display of the uses of criticism, Lewis briskly and judiciously assumes the promotional role renounced by Kotzwinkle, highlighting the author’s accomplishments and identifying themes, issues, and images that unify his diverse productions into a consistent and conscientious career. . . . Lewis draws delightful examples especially from his subject’s comic writing, and his critical style often enlarges, combines, or riffs on these examples in the style of a humorous yet helpful kindred spirit. . . . Lewis crafts a field of reference as fresh as it is serious, ranging from Rimbaud to Rambo, from the high-cultural icons of Joyce, Valery, Cocteau, and Davenport to Hollywood’s Aliens and a redemptive review of Kotzwinkle’s characterization of Clark Kent ( in his screenplay for Superman III) as ‘everyklutz’. Lewis’s prose is vigorous yet measured, shifting from essential quotation to characteristic paraphrase and commentary, without the theoretical clutter that in many similar studies distracts from the textual subject. . . . This confluence of primary texts, authorial commentary, contemporary review, and a willingness to acknowledge yet question critical assumptions makes Lewis’s ground-breaking study a conscientious foundation on which future scholarship will build.” – Craig White