Frederick Barthelme Analysis

Other Literary Forms

Frederick Barthelme has written several novels; they include Second Marriage (1984), Tracer (1985), Natural Selection (1990), The Brothers (1993), Painted Desert (1995), and Bob the Gambler (1997). An essay, “On Being Wrong: Convicted Minimalist Spills Bean,” was published in 1988.


Also a visual artist, Frederick Barthelme has exhibited in the Seattle Art Museum (1969) and the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1970). He won the Eliot Coleman Award for prose from The Johns Hopkins University for his story “Storyteller” in 1976-1977. He also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1979 and 1980.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Brinkmeyer, Robert H., Jr. “Suburban Culture, Imaginative Wonder: The Fiction of Frederick Barthelme.” Studies in the Literary Imagination 27 (Fall, 1994). Discusses Barthelme’s fiction in terms of the southern tradition and its examination of place. Ties Barthelme’s evocation of suburban mystery to the grotesque, concluding that Barthelme’s fiction celebrates wonder.

Peters, Timothy. “The Eighties Pastoral: Frederick Barthelme’s Moon Deluxe Ten Years On.” Studies in Short Fiction 31 (Spring, 1994): 175-195. Begins by comparing Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita (1955) to Barthelme’s fiction. Engages critics who disparage Barthelme’s writing by arguing that it confronts the dreamscape of contemporary suburban America.

Sheppard, R. Z. “Out of the Blue.” Time, September 10, 1990. Discusses Natural Selection.