A visionary, a craftsman, a comedian and as serious as it is possible to be without accidentally writing a religious text. He can do anything with a piece of prose, and it is a humbling experience to see him go to work on what has passed up till now as “modern fiction”. He’s so modern he’s in a different time-space continuum from the rest of us. Goddamn him’ Zadie Smith The mysterious disappearance of her great- grandmother and twenty-five other elderly inmates from a Shaker Heights nursing home has left Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman emotionally stranded on the edge of the Great Ohio Desert. But that is simply one problem of many for the hapless switchboard operator, seriously compounded by her ongoing affair with boss Rick Vigorous; the TV stardom of her talking cockatiel, Vlad the Impaler; and other minor catastrophes that threaten to elevate Lenore’s search for love and self-detemination to new heights of spasmodic weirdness.