Eugene Pota, an aging writer, would like to publish one last great novel before he dies. He had overwhelming success with his first book but his later novels didn't do so well, and now he is all but blocked. He starts a novel about Tom Sawyer trying to meet Mark Twain, one about a man who turns into a cockroach in downtown Manhattan, sex novels about a modern wife or about Hera and Zeus, but nothing catches fire. He also fends off polite inquiries and offers for help from his agent and editor, and communicates with affectionate old lovers. This odd little book, occasionally amusing and evidently fairly autobiographical, was published the year after Heller's death in 1999.
This report prepared by David Loftus