“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
Literary grandmaster Robert Coover has long been obsessed with myth, decay, sex and narrative, time and technology: and these themes come together in this short, dark fable that centers around the once-grand, now-aged Princess. Years ago a star of the classic film “The Enchanted Prince,” she has become a cult figure—with mind intact but body failing, she remains a figure of cinematic royalty, but one who cannot turn away from the persistent demands of the camera and the ever-present director, himself a flabby iteration of the wunderkind-that-was, who is filming the last remake (in a long series of remakes) of the classic that made the Princess a star.
“The world is a bad B-movie,” he says. “We try to make better ones, but it probably can’t be done. Still, we go on cranking them out. Nothing else to do.”
Coover’s sardonic, biting humor—and his deep sympathy for the players in his game, all both manipulators and manipulated—has never been more clearly on display than in this brief, intense dose of verbal subterfuge about film within film within the book, itself a two-dimensional “film.” “The book is an essentially realistic tale about two ancient survivors of the New Wave (I had in mind people like Jean Seberg, Jean-Luc Godard) in the digital age,” writes the author about this novella. “The more fanciful elements are torturous parodies of fairytale movies.”
“Do you think we’re just out of synch with the times?”
“Never been in synch.”
80 pages • Paperback ISBN 978-1-682191-75-0 • E-book 978-1-682191-76-7
About the Author
One of the most revered contemporary American authors, Robert Coover’s most recent books are The Adventures of Lucky Pierre: Directors’ Cut, Stepmother, and A Child Again. 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.