“Robert Coover is one of our masters now. The tumultuous, Babylonian exuberance of his mind is fueled and directed by his equally passionate craftsmanship. He seems to be able to do anything.” —Robert Kelly, The New York Times Book Review
“Robert Coover's work is sharp, sly, and shockingly funny.” —Lydia Davis
“A brilliant mythmaker, a potty-mouthed Svengali, and an evil technician of metaphors. He is among our language’s most important inventors.” —Ben Marcus
About the book
As Robert Coover read Dr. Seuss to his children in 1968, he noticed “the little Cat in the Hat symbol on the front cover: ‘I CAN READ IT ALL BY MYSELF.’ It looked remarkably like a campaign button, and, by changing one letter, it was one.” Sensing a strange affinity between the anarchic Seussian world and the riots, assassinations, warfare and social upheaval that forever marked 1968 as a year of turmoil, Coover began to write. With the slogan “I CAN LEAD IT ALL BY MYSELF,” he imagines a hedonistic, novelty-crazed public and their shameless, nonsense-spewing, hat-wearing demagogue: the Cat in the Hat.
While this mindbending classic vividly evokes the late 1960s—with psychedelic flights of fancy and tropes of the sexual revolution, civil rights, and Vietnam all heaving out of its pages—it also feels chillingly prescient a half century later. Its hilarity shot through with anger and fear, The Cat in the Hat for President anticipates and diagnoses the unheard-of spectacle of the current political circus, and, well, a cat in a (MAGA) hat.
Publication April 10, 2018 • 80 pages
Paperback ISBN 978-1-682191-30-9 • E-book 978-1-682191-31-6
About the author
One of the most revered contemporary American authors, Robert Coover’s most recent books are Noir, The Brunist Day of Wrath, and Huck Out West. A book of selected short fictions, Going for a Beer, will be published in winter 2018 by W.W. Norton. He is the recipient of the William Faulkner, Brandeis University, American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment of the Arts, Rea Lifetime Short Story, Rhode Island Governor’s Arts, Pell, and Clifton Fadiman Awards; as well as Rockefeller, Guggenheim, Lannan Foundation, and DAAD fellowships.