John Crowley. Little, Big. 1981.

John Crowley. Little, Big. New York: Bantam, 1981.

John Crowley’s masterpiece is many novels, all of them a single tale, made of family and story and time. Little, Big is a multi-generational novel of an American family told in three intricately braided love stories. It is a tale of the porous boundaries between our world and the elsewhere of the fairy folk. The book is a dark dystopian account of the rise of an American demagogue as the nation’s infrastructure and institutions crumble. It also plays a nimble and sophisticated game with four hundred years of literature, from Shakespeare and Mother Goose to Alice in Wonderland and Thornton W. Burgess.

Little, Big is my favorite work of fiction, a book I have read and reread many times.

Proof copy, inscribed by the author to Thomas M. Disch.

No. 50.