Standalone Novels In Publication Order
- Americana (1971)
- End Zone (1972)
- Great Jones Street (1973)
- Ratner’s Star (1976)
- Running Dog (1978)
- Players (1978)
- The Names (1982)
- White Noise (1985)
- Libra (1988)
- Mao II (1991)
- Underworld (1997)
- The Body Artist (2001)
- Cosmopolis (2003)
- Falling Man (2007)
- Point Omega (2010)
- Zero K (2016)
- The Silence (2020)
Short Stories/Novellas In Publication Order
- Pafko at the Wall (2001)
Short Story Collections In Publication Order
- The Angel Esmeralda (2011)
Standalone Plays In Publication Order
- The Day Room (1986)
- Valparaiso (1999)
- Love-Lies-Bleeding (2002)
Anthologies In Publication Order
- Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk & Postmodern Science Fiction (1991)
Standalone Novels Book Covers
Short Stories/Novellas Book Covers
Short Story Collections Book Covers
Standalone Plays Book Covers
Anthologies Book Covers
Don DeLillo Books Overview
Prosperous, good looking and empty inside, 28 year old advertising executive David Bell appears on the surface to have everything. But he is a man on the brink of losing his sanity. Trapped in a Manhattan office with soulless sycophants as his only company, he makes an abrupt decision to leave New York for America’s mid west. His plan: to film the small town lives of ordinary people and make contact with the true heart of his homeland. But as Bell puts his films together in his hotel room, he grows increasingly convinced that there is no heart to find. Modern America has become a land that has reached the end of its reel.
‘Nobody, it seems, could write better than this. No one could have a clearer vision of the micro circuitry of post modern life’ Evening Standard Ostensibly, DeLillo’s blackly comic second novel is about Gary Harkness, a football player and student at Logos College, west Texas. During a season of unprecedented success, Gary becomes increasingly fixated on the threat of nuclear war. Both frightened and fascinated by the prospect, he listens to his team mates discussing match tactics in much the same terms as generals might contemplate global conflict. But as the terminologies of football and nuclear war the language of End Zones become interchanged, the polysemous nature of words emerges, and DeLillo forces us to see beyond the sterile reality of substitution. This clever and playful novel is a timeless and topical study of human beings’ obsession with conflict and confrontation. ‘Powerfully funny, oblique, testy, and playful, tearing along in dazzling cinematic spurts…
A masterful novel’ Washington Post
‘Brilliant, deeply shocking’ ‘New York Review of Books’. Bucky Wunderlick is a rock and roll star. Dissatisfied with a life that has brought fame and fortune, he suddenly decides he no longer wants to be a commodity. He leaves his band mid tour and holes up in a dingy, unfurnished apartment in Great Jones Street. Unfortunately, his disappearing act only succeeds in inflaming interest…
DeLillo’s third novel is more than a musical satire: it probes the rights of the individual, foreshadows the struggle of the artist within a capitalist world and delivers a scathing portrait of our culture’s obsession with the lives of the few. ‘DeLillo has the force and imagination of Thomas Pynchon or John Barth, with a sense of proportion and style which these would be giants often lack’ ‘Irish Times’.
One of DeLillo’s first novels, Ratner’s Star follows Billy, the genius adolescent, who is recruited to live in obscurity, underground, as he tries to help a panel of estranged, demented, and yet lovable scientists communicate with beings from outer space. It is a mix of quirky humor, science, mathematical theories, as well as the complex emotional distance and sadness people feel. Ratner’s Star demonstrates both the thematic and prosaic muscularity that typifies DeLillo’s later and more recent works, like The Names which is also available in Vintage Contemporaries.
In Players DeLillo explores the dark side of contemporary affluence and its discontents. Pammy and Lyle Wynant are an attractive, modern couple who seem to have it all. Yet behind their ‘ideal’ life is a lingering boredom and quiet desperation: their talk is mostly chatter, their sex life more a matter of obligatory ‘satisfaction’ than pleasure. Then Lyle sees a man killed on the floor of the Stock Exchange and becomes involved with the terrorists responsible; Pammy leaves for Maine with a homosexual couple…
. And still they remain untouched, ‘Players‘ indifferent to the violence that surrounds them, and that they have helped to create. Originally published in 1977 before his National Book Award winning White Noise and the recent blockbuster Underworld, Players is a fast moving yet starkly drawn socially critical drama that demonstrates the razor sharp prose and thematic density for which DeLillo is renown today.’The wit, elegance and economy of Don DeLillo’s art are equal to the bitter clarity of his perceptions.’ New York Times Book Review
strange and wonderful and frightening’. ‘New Yorker’. DeLillo’s seventh novel is an exotic thriller. Set mostly in Greece, it concerns a mysterious ‘language cult’ seemingly behind a number of unexplained murders. Obsessed by news of this ritualistic violence, an American risk analyst is drawn to search for an explanation. We follow his progress on an obsessive journey that begins to take over his life and the lives of those closest to him. In addition to offering a series of precise character studies, ‘The Names‘ explores the intersection of language and culture, the perception of America from both inside and outside its borders, and the impact that narration has on the facts of a story. Meditative and probing, DeLillo wonders: how does one cope with the fact that the act of articulation is simultaneously capable of defining and circumscriptively restricting access to the self? ‘A serious and complicated novel which deserves praise…
an outstandingly well written and constructed book’. ‘Guardian’.
Winner of the National Book Award in 1985, White Noise is the story of Jack and Babette and their children from their six or so various marriages. They live in a college town where Jack is Professor of Hitler Studies and conceals the fact that he does not speak a word of German, and Babette teaches posture and volunteers by reading from the tabloids to a group of elderly shut ins. They are happy enough until a deadly toxic accident and Babette’s addiction to an experimental drug make Jake question everything. White Noise is considered a postmodern classic and its unfolding of themes of consumerism, family and divorce, and technology as a deadly threat have attracted the attention of literary scholars since its publication. This Viking Critical Library edition, prepared by scholar Mark Osteen, is the only edition of White Noise that contains the entire text along with an extensive critical apparatus, including a critical introduction, selected essays on the author, the work and its themes, reviews, a chronology of DeLillo’s life and work, a list of discussion topics, and a selected bibliography.
The anti hero of Libra is Lee Harvey Oswald, who is as hauntingly real in the book as he was elusive in reality. Here he is, as large and as small as life?joining the marines, poring over Marxist texts, defecting to Russia, handing out leaflets for the Fair Play Cuba committee, imagining himself as an agent of history. That is, until ?history? presents itself in the form of two disgruntled CIA operatives who decide that an unsuccessful attempt on JFK?s life, one that could be linked to Fidel Castro, is the only way to put Cuba back in geopolitical play?and that Oswald would be the perfect instrument for their plans. Praise for Libra: ?One of the most ironic, intelligent, grimly funny voices to comment on life in present day America.? ?The New York Times ?Libra operates at a dizzyingly high level of intensity throughout; it?s that true fictional rarity?a novel of admirable depth and relevance that?s also a terrific page turner.? ?USA Today
1992 PEN/FAULKER AWARD In Mao II, Don DeLillo presents an extraordinary new novel about words and images, novelists and terrorists, the mass mind and the arch individualist. At the heart of the book is Bill Gray, a famous reclusive writer who escapes the failed novel he has been working on for many years and enters the world of political violence when he gets the chance to aid a hostage trapped in a baseme*nt in war torn Beirut, a nightscape of Semtex explosives. Gray’s dangerous departure leaves two people stranded: his brilliant, fixated assistant, Scott, and the strange young woman who is Scott’s lover and Bill’s. Mao II is a series of set pieces built around the theme of searching for meaning in a post modern world. ‘DeLillo’s brilliant 10th novel…
writing so piercingly exact, characters so palpable, dialogue so shimmering, that the ideas burn off like summer smoke and become skywriting.’ Philadelphia Inquirer
Our lives, our half century. Nick Shay and Klara Sax knew each other once, intimately, and they meet again in the American desert. He is trying to outdistance the crucial events of his early life, haunted by the hard logic of loss and by the echo of a gunshot in a baseme*nt room. She is an artist who has made a blood struggle for independence. Don DeLillo’s mesmerizing novel opens with a legendary baseball game played in New York in 1951. The glorious outcome the home run that wins the game is called the Shot Heard Round the World shades into the grim news that the Soviet Union has just tested an atomic bomb. The baseball itself, fought over and scuffed, generates the narrative that follows. It takes the reader deeply into the lives of Nick and Klara and into modern memory and the soul of American culture from Bronx tenements to grand ballrooms to a B 52 bombing raid over Vietnam. A generation’s master spirits come and go. Lennny Bruce cracking desperate jokes, Mick Jagger with his devil strut, J. Edgar Hoover in a sexy leather mask. And flashing in the margins of ordinary life are the curiously connectecd materials of the culture. Condoms, bombs, Chevy Bel Airs and miracle sites on the Web. ‘Underworld‘ is a story of men and women together and apart, seen in deep clear detail and in stadium sized panoramas, shadowed throughout by the overarching conflict of the Cold War. It is a novel that accepts every challenge of these extraordinary times Don DeLillo’s greatest and most powerful work of fiction.
The ‘Body Artist’ opens with a breakfast scene in a rambling rented house somewhere on the New England coast. We meet Lauren Hartke, The Body Artist of the title, and her husband Rey Robles, a much older, thrice married film director. Through their delicate, intimate, half complete thoughts and words DeLillo proves himself a stunningly unsentimental observer of marriage, and of the idiosyncrasies that both isolate and bind us. Rey says he’s taking a drive and he does, all the way to the Manhattan apartment of his first wife. Lauren is left alone, or so she thinks. She is soon to discover, however, that there is a stranger in the house. An eery individual who often speaks in Rey’s voice or in her own, who knows both intimate moments of their past life and things that haven’t yet happened. ‘A novel that is both slight and profound, a distilled meditation on perception and loss, and a poised, individual ghost story for the twenty first century’ ‘Observer’. ‘A masterful talent is behind its language, so magnificent in simplicity. Inspiring. God, but it’s a beautiful book’ ‘Independent on Sunday’.
‘A brilliant excursion into the decadence of contemporary culture’ ‘Sunday Times’. Eric Packer is a twenty eight year old multi billionaire asset manager. We join him on what will become a particularly eventful April day in turn of the twenty first century Manhattan. He’s on a personal odyssey, to get a haircut. Sitting in his stretch limousine as it moves across town, he finds the city at a virtual standstill because the President is visiting, a rapper’s funeral is proceeding, and a violent protest is being staged in Times Square by anti globalist groups. Most worryingly, Eric’s bodyguards are concerned that he may be a target…
An electrifying study in affectlessness, infused with deep cynicism and measured detachment; a harsh indictment of the life denying tendencies of capitalism; as brutal a dissection of the American dream as Wolfe’s ‘Bonfire’ or Ellis’ ‘Psycho’, ‘Cosmopolis‘ is a caustic prophecy all too quickly realized. ‘A prose poem about New York…
DeLillo has always been good at telling us where we’re heading…
we ignore him at our peril’ Blake Morrison, ‘Guardian’.
There is September 11 and then there are the days after, and finally the years. ‘Falling Man‘ begins in the smoke and ash of the burning towers and traces the aftermath of this global tremor in the intimate lives of a few individuals. Theirs are lives choreographed by loss, grief and the enormous force of history. ‘These are pages of magnificent force and control, DeLillo’s genius at full pelt. Reading them, you have to remind yourself to keep breathing’ ‘New Statesman’. ‘Searing, profoundly unsettling. An unforgettable novel’ ‘Sunday Times’. ‘A revelatory piece of writing that will stand as a testament to DeLillo’s genius’ ‘Times Literary Supplement’. ‘As fine a thing as DeLillo has ever made. There are those who have called him a cold writer; I challenge them to read the astonishing and deeply moving closing pages of ‘Falling Man‘ without weeping’ ‘Scotsman’. ‘Complex, thrilling, awesome…
This is a tremendous novel by a genuine master’ ‘Irish Independent’.
‘Point Omega is a treat: the most satisfying and least cryptic of DeLillo’s late novels’ Sunday Telegraph Reading the fiction of Don DeLillo is an utterly original experience: powerful, prescient, perceptive. Writing in a prose that is both majestic and muscular, his unerringly accurate vision penetrates deep into the soul of America and consistently leaves readers with a fresh perspective on the world. Since the publication of his first novel, in 1971, he has been acknowledged across the world as one of the greatest writers of his generation. Richard Elster, a retired secret war adviser, has retreated to a forlorn house in a desert, ‘somewhere south of nowhere’. But his planned isolation is interrupted when he is joined by a young filmmaker intent on documenting his experience in a one take film. The two men sit on the deck, drinking and talking. Weeks go by. And then Elster’s daughter Jessie visits. When a devastating event follows, all the men’s talk, the accumulated meaning of conversation and isolation, is thrown into question. Written in hypnotic prose, this substantial novel is both a metaphysical meditation and a deeply unsettling mystery, from which one thing emerges: loss, fierce and incomprehensible. ‘Another formidable construction by a very distinctive writer’ Evening Standard ‘A pared, intense anti parable…
so rigorous and so precise’ Observer ‘Impossible to forget’ Sunday Times
‘There’s a long drive. It’s gonna be. I believe. The Giants win the pennant. The Giants win the pennant. The Giants win the pennant. The Giants win the pennant.’ Russ Hodges, October 3, 1951 On the fiftieth anniversary of ‘The Shot Heard Round the World,’ Don DeLillo reassembles in fiction the larger than life characters who on October 3, 1951, witnessed Bobby Thomson’s pennant winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jackie Gleason is razzing Toots Shor in Leo Durocher’s box seats; J. Edgar Hoover, basking in Sinatra’s celebrity, is about to be told that the Russians have tested an atomic bomb; and Russ Hodges, raw throated and excitable, announces the game the Giants and the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds in New York. DeLillo’s transcendent account of one of the iconic events of the twentieth century is a masterpiece of American sportswriting.
From one of the greatest writers of our time, his first collection of short stories, written between 1979 and 2011, chronicling and foretelling three decades of American life Set in Greece, the Caribbean, Manhattan, a white collar prison and outer space, these nine stories are a mesmerizing introduction to Don DeLillo’s iconic voice, from the rich, startling, jazz infused rhythms of his early work to the spare, distilled, monastic language of the later stories. In Creation, a couple at the end of a cruise somewhere in the West Indies can t get off the island flights canceled, unconfirmed reservations, a dysfunctional economy. In Human Moments in World War III, two men orbiting the earth, charged with gathering intelligence and reporting to Colorado Command, hear the voices of American radio, from a half century earlier. In the title story, Sisters Edgar and Grace, nuns working the violent streets of the South Bronx, confirm the neighborhood s miracle, the apparition of a dead child, Esmeralda. Nuns, astronauts, athletes, terrorists and travelers, the characters in The Angel Esmeralda propel themselves into the world and define it. DeLillo s sentences are instantly recognizable, as original as the splatter of Jackson Pollock or the luminous rectangles of Mark Rothko. These nine stories describe an extraordinary journey of one great writer whose prescience about world events and ear for American language changed the literary landscape.
‘The Day Room‘, Don DeLillo’s first play, is a black comedy that explores the chaos caused when the onlooker is unsure of the status of a team of medics in a psychiatric unit. Are they really bona fide staff or patients just pretending to be?
A man sets out on an ordinary business trip to Valparaiso, Indiana. It turns out to be a mock heroic journey toward identity and transcendence. This is Don DeLillo’s second play, and it is funny, sharp, and deep reaching. Its characters tend to have needs and desires shaped by the forces of broadcast technology. This is the way we talk to each other today. This is the way we tell each other things, in public, before listening millions, that we don’t dare to say privately. Nothing is allowed to be unseen. Nothing remains unsaid. And everything melts repeatedly into something else, as if driven by the finger on the TV remote. This is also a play that makes obsessive poetry out of the language of routine airline announcements and the flow of endless information. Valparaiso has been performed by the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.
Alex Hauser left New York and gave up easel painting to live and create land art in the southwestern desert. Now seventy, he has had his second massive stroke. His young third wife Lia believes that somewhere deep inside his mind is still alive, but Alex’s ex wife and son, Toinette and Sean, have come to this remote place to help him die. Scarlet four o’clock, terminal sedation, night blooming cereus, respiratory depression, sacred datura, persistent vegetative state, love lies bleeding, life long devotion: the names of desert flowers and the language of death are equally potent and mysterious in this haunting and urgent play. Like ‘Wit’ and ‘Whose Life Is It Anyway?’, ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ explores the perilous question of when life ends or should. It is also a play about a son looking for the father who abandoned him, and it is about the odd emotional tenacity of relationships long ended, about shared language as the antidote to loss. Praise for Don DeLillo’s previous play, ‘Valparaiso’: ‘May be the novelist’s most satisfying work since ‘White Noise’…
‘Valparaiso’ is art at its finest.’ ‘Boston Globe.’ ‘Indisputably electric…
fresh and pertinent’ ‘New York Times’.
The term cyberpunk entered the literary landscape in 1984 to describe William Gibson’s pathbreaking novel Neuromancer. Cyberpunks are now among the shock troops of postmodernism, Larry McCaffery argues in Storming the Reality Studio, marshalling the resources of a fragmentary culture to create a startling new form. Artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, multinational machinations, frenetic bursts of prose, collisions of style, celebrations of texture: although emerging largely from science fiction, these features of cyberpunk writing are, as this volume makes clear, integrally related to the aims and innovations of the literary avant garde. By bringing together original fiction by well known contemporary writers William Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Kathy Acker, J. G. Ballard, Samuel R. Delany, critical commentary by some of the major theorists of postmodern art and culture Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson, Timothy Leary, Jean Fran ois Lyotard, and work by major practitioners of cyberpunk William Gibson, Rudy Rucker, John Shirley, Pat Cadigan, Bruce Sterling, Storming the Reality Studio reveals a fascinating ongoing dialog in contemporary culture. What emerges most strikingly from the colloquy is a shared preoccupation with the force of technology in shaping modern life. It is precisely this concern, according to McCaffery, that has put science fiction, typically the province of technological art, at the forefront of creative explorations of our unique age. A rich opporunity for reading across genres, this anthology offers a new perspective on the evolution of postmodern culture and ultimately shows how deeply technological developments have influenced our vision and our art. Selected Fiction contributors: Kathy Acker, J. G. Ballard, William S. Burroughs, Pat Cadigan, Samuel R. Delany, Don DeLillo, William Gibson, Harold Jaffe, Richard Kadrey, Marc Laidlaw, Mark Leyner, Joseph McElroy, Misha, Ted Mooney, Thomas Pynchon, Rudy Rucker, Lucius Shepard, Lewis Shiner, John Shirley, Bruce Sterling, William VollmanSelected Non Fiction contributors: Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Derrida, Joan Gordon, Veronica Hollinger, Fredric Jameson, Arthur Kroker and David Cook, Timothy Leary, Jean Fran ois Lyotard, Larry McCaffery, Brian McHale, Dave Porush, Bruce Sterling, Darko Suvin, Takayuki Tatsumi