Why did I love this book?
Shapiro’s Edsel appeared in 1971, well after Shapiro had established himself as one of America’s greatest poets and 25 years after he won the Pulitzer Prize. Like many novels by poets, the protagonist is a writer, in this case a poet named Edsel Lazerow. Also like many other novels in this grouping the setting is academia. I’m particularly fond of academic satires, from John Barth’s Giles, Goat Boy, to Richard Russo’s Straight Man, to the novels of British writer, David Lodge. Perhaps I enjoy these romps because I am a failed academic—I went to college for five years without getting a degree. They had the audacity to suggest that I take Zoology! Anyway, this novel is a hoot, and unjustly forgotten.