Barthelme, Helen Moore. Donald Barthelme: The Genesis of a Cool Sound. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2001. The author, a senior university lecturer, was married to Barthelme for a decade in the 1950’s and 1960’s. She traces his life from his childhood in Houston to his development as a writer.
Couturier, Maurice, and Regis Durand. Donald Barthelme. London: Methuen, 1982. This brief study focuses on the performance aspect of Barthelme’s stories and considers them in relation to the multiplicity of varied responses that they elicit from readers. Readings are few in number but highly suggestive.
Daugherty, Tracy. Hiding Man: A Biography of Donald Barthelme. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2009. Argues that Barthleme was writing in the modernist tradition of Samuel Beckett and James Joyce, and that he used advertisements, sentences from newspaper articles, instruction guides, and popular and commercial elements in order to make literature, not to subvert it.
Gordon, Lois. Donald Barthelme. Boston: Twayne, 1981. This volume, in Twayne’s United States Authors series, makes up in breadth what it lacks in depth. Although the book has no particular point to make about Barthelme and his work, it does provide useful and accurate summaries of most of his work. A comprehensive introduction for undergraduates unfamiliar with the fiction, as is Stanley Trachtenberg’s Understanding Donald Barthelme.
Hudgens, Michael Thomas. Donald Barthelme, Postmodernist American Writer. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 2001. This volume in the series Studies in American Literature examines Barthelme’s novels The Dead Father and Snow White and his short story “Paraguay.” Includes bibliographical references and an index.
Klinkowitz, Jerome. Donald Barthelme: An Exhibition. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1991. Klinkowitz is easily the best informed and most judicious scholar and critic of contemporary American fiction in general...