Other literary forms
Although Gilbert Sorrentino (saw-rehn-TEE-noh) started out writing poetry, his first novel, The Sky Changes, was published in 1966. The Sky Changes ignores time sequences and scrambles the past, present, and future. This was followed by a remarkable output of fiction: Steelwork in 1970, Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things the following year, Red the Fiend in 1995, and The Abyss of Human Illusion in 2009, among others.
Sorrentino’s fiction was experimental and won praise from critics, but it was only with the 1979 publication of Mulligan Stew that Sorrentino earned popular success. The novel is considered Sorrentino’s masterpiece and won rave reviews in almost every influential newspaper. Mulligan Stew attacked the conventions of traditional novels, with their linear plot lines, “real” characters, and language subordinated to story.
Sorrentino also published a play, Flawless Play Restored: The Masque of Fungo (pb. 1974), and a work of nonfiction, Something Said, in 1984.