Don DeLillo

Don DeLillo (dəlĬl´ō), 1936–, American novelist, b. New York City, grad. Fordham Univ. (1958). DeLillo is an accomplished prose stylist with a dark vision and mordant wit. In a steady stream of novels beginning with Americana (1971), he has explored the anomie and violence of contemporary America—rock music and drugs in Great Jones Street (1973), science and mathematics in Ratner's Star (1976), terrorism in Players (1977), spying in Running Dog (1978), and political corruption in The Names (1982). His White Noise (1985), the story of a Hitler studies professor and a meditation on the fear of death, was followed by Libra (1988), a fictional portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald and Mao II (1991), about CIA activities in Greece. DeLillo's longest, most complicated, and most highly praised novel is Underworld (1997). In its sweep of time from 1951 to 1992, its panorama of American characters and landscapes, and its uniquely descriptive language, it portrays variety of American life during the period. Two relatively minor works followed—The Body Artist (2001), a dark and brief quasi–ghost story, and Cosmopolis (2003), a satire focused on a Manhattan billionaire. His next novel, Falling Man (2007), details the effects of 9/11 on a middle-class Manhattanite who experienced the World Trade Center attack and on his estranged wife and son. His spare and dread-haunted novella Point Omega (2010) focuses on a scholar who helped plan the Iraq war, now self-exiled in the desert, and his daughter and a filmmaker who follow him there. The Angel Esmeralda (2011), his only short-fiction collection, contains nine stories written over five decades. DeLillo also is a playwright.

See Conversations with Don DeLillo (2005), ed. by T. DePietro; studies by T. LeClair (1987), F. Lentricchia (1991), D. Keesey (1993), H. Ruppersburg and T. Engles, ed. (2000), M. Osteen (2000), D. Cowart (2002), H. Bloom, ed. (2003), J. Kavadlo (2004), P. Boxall (2005), J. Dewey (2006), and E. A. Martucci (2007).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Don Delillo: Balance at the Edge of Belief
Jesse Kavadlo.
Peter Lang, 2004
The Culture of Property: Race, Class, and Housing Landscapes in Atlanta, 1880-1950
Leeann Lands.
University of Georgia Press, 2009
Nobody's Home: Speech, Self, and Place in American Fiction from Hawthorne to Delillo
Arnold Weinstein.
Oxford University Press, 1993
A History of Our Time: Readings on Postwar America
William H. Chafe; Harvard Sitkoff; Beth Bailey.
Oxford University Press, 2003 (6th edition)
Librarian’s tip: "In the Ruins of the Future: Reflections on Terror and Loss in the Shadow of September 11" by Don DeLillo begins on p. 459
Globalization in America: The Case of Don DeLillo's 'White Noise.'
Peyser, Thomas.
CLIO, Vol. 25, No. 3, Spring 1996
History, Biography, and Narrative in Don DeLillo's "Libra."(novel about Lee Harvey Oswald)
Thomas, Glen.
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 43, No. 1, Spring 1997
Underwords: Perspectives on Don Delillo's Underworld
Joseph Dewey; Steven G. Kellman; Irving Malin.
University of Delaware Press, 2002
Readings from the New Book on Nature: Physics and Metaphysics in the Modern Novel
Robert Nadeau.
University of Massachusetts Press, 1981
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Don DeLillo"
Ironic Mysticism in Don DeLillo's Ratner's Star
Little, Jonathan.
Papers on Language & Literature, Vol. 35, No. 3, Summer 1999
"Things That Happen and What We Say about Them": Speaking the Ordinary in DeLillo's the Names
Mutter, Matthew.
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 53, No. 4, Winter 2007
Training and Vision: Roth, DeLillo, Banks, Peck, and the Postmodern Aesthetics of Vocation
McCann, Sean.
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 53, No. 3, Fall 2007
Reshaping Ideologies: Leftists as Terrorists/terrorists as Leftists in DeLillo's Novels
Velcic, Vlatka.
Studies in the Novel, Vol. 36, No. 3, Fall 2004
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