Frederick Busch

Frederick Busch (1941-2006) was born in Brooklyn in 1941 and received an MA in English at Columbia in 1967. Between 1966 and 2003 he was professor emeritus of literature at Colgate University. He received the PEN/Malamud Award in 1991. He passed away in 2006.

War Babies

Fiction by Frederick Busch

A short but powerful tale weaving together moral complexity and romantic intrigue, Frederick Busch’s War Babies is the story of an American lawyer in his mid-thirties (Peter Santore) who travels to England in an attempt to tie up the loose ends of his own dark past. Peter’s father, a prisoner who turned traitor in a Korean War POW camp, might have had something to do with a fellow captive’s death, the father of one Hilary Pennels––now a woman Peter’s age who lives in Salisbury.…
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The Mutual Friend

Fiction by Frederick Busch

The subject of Frederick Busch’s extraordinary fiction, The Mutual Friend, is Charles Dickens. First published in 1978, Busch’s portrait of the Chief (or the Inimitable, as Dickens calls himself) was immediately hailed as a lively, accurate, and brilliantly imagined novel of the great Victorian and his age. Busch’s guide to Dickens’ world is George Dolby, the Chief’s factotum in his last years. The reminiscence begins with the Great American Tour of 1867-68, Dickens is ill and crotchety but ever eager to dazzle the New World with his dramatic readings.…
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Absent Friends

Fiction by Frederick Busch

For twenty years now, Frederick Busch has been a relentless chronicler of the human heart. Except for an occasional foray abroad, he has tended to set his fiction in a physical territory––the Northeast, upstate New York especially––which he has given literary shape. With the capaciousness of a Dickens and the control of a Hemingway, Busch’s novels have come in steady counterpoint, raising and answering by turns insistent questions that worry even the plainest of domestic lives.…
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Manual Labor

Fiction by Frederick Busch

Set in rural New England, Frederick Busch’s powerful yet subtle second novel, Manual Labor, explores the collapse and renewal of a contemporary marriage. Phil and Anne Sorenson––both in their own ways emotionally or physically crippled––search for an equilibrium in the rebuilding of an abandoned farmhouse that becomes a paradigm of their lives. Presented by several voices, principally those of the husband and wife, the novel is rooted in the American gothic tradition of Melville and Hawthorne.…
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