From the acclaimed novelist (Henry and Clara, Two Moons), essayist (A Book of One's Own), and critic (1998 National Book Critics Circle Citation for Excellence in Reviewing)—an engaging new collection of essays. In Fact gathers the best of Thomas Mallon's superb criticism from the past twenty-two years—essays that appeared in his GQ column, "Doubting Thomas," and in The New York Times Book Review, The American Scholar, The New Yorker, and Harper's, among other publications. Here are his evaluations of the work of contemporary writers such as Nicholson Baker, Peter Carey, Tom Wolfe, Do DeLillo, Joan Didion, and Robert Stone, and reassessments of such earlier twentieth-century figures as John O'Hara, Sinclair Lewis, Truman Capote, and Mary McCarthy. Mallon also considers an array of odd literary genres and phenomena—including book indexes, obituaries, plagiarism, cancelled checks, fan mail, and author tours. And he turns his sharp eye on historical fiction (his own genre) as well as on the history, practice, and future of memoir. Smart, unorthodox, and impassioned, this collection is an integral piece of an important literary career and an altogether marvelous read. From the Hardcover edition.