Andrew Sean Greer says his life ambition had always been to be a writer. Like his popular character Arthur Less, Greer has had a bumpy career as a writer from the breakthrough of the successful reception of his second novel, to numerous other novels that did not get much attention, then to a resounding success of winning a Pulitzer Prize for his fifth Novel. Let’s take a look at the complete works of Andrew Sean Greer in this article.
How It Was For Me (2001)
This is Andrew Sean Greer’s debut fiction book. It is a collection of stories that have the theme of love and repressed feelings in common. The titular story of the collection contains elements of Gothic as it is about a group of neighborhood boys that plot to prove that their piano teachers are witches.
Another story in the collection titled ”Cannibal Kings” follows a weary and disillusioned young man who finds a new path in his life as he accompanies a troubled boy on a tour of prep schools through the Pacific Northwest. And the story ”Come Live With Me And Be My Love” is about an Ivy League-educated middle-aged man who yearns for his best friend even though he is married to a spirited beautiful wife.
The Path of Minor Planets (2001)
Andrew Sean Greer’s first full-length novel. The Path of Minor Planets takes us to the year 1965, when a group of astronomers gathers to witness a passing comet. A young boy dies during this event and changes the lives of the astronomers in more ways than they expected.
In the story, we experience love, heartbreak, and the forces of nature and fate on both ordinary and exceptional people. It is a well-researched profound peek into the lives of scientists.
The Confessions of Max Tivoli (2004)
Characteristic of Andrew Sean Greer, he features an unusual protagonist in this touching piece. Max Tivoli was born with an old man’s body, his parents call him a mythical cursed creature and try to bury him in shame. But his curse takes a good turn with the passage of time— he is aging backward.
Max Tivoli becomes smitten with a girl called Alice who lives in the flat below him. Alice is a regular girl that does not know about Max Tivoli’s curse, and so she never recognizes him whenever she sees him. Meanwhile, Max Tivoli is too shy to tell Alice his story and his feelings for her. Max must then decide if he should take a chance at love or continue to yearn for the woman he loves from a distance.
Greer was praised for his imaginative prowess, and it became the book that gave him his first major breakthrough as a novelist.
The Story of a Marriage (2008)
The Story of a Marriage delves into the life of Pearlie Cook, who is the anchor of her ailing family, her son suffers from polio, and her handsome husband Holland is troubled by post-traumatic stress disorder.
Pearlie’s marriage and everything she knows are tested by the arrival of a stranger from her husband’s past. She must deal with a bisexual love triangle and the temptation of riches she had hitherto never imagined.
The novel is a historical fiction set in San Francisco where Greer has made his home.
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells (2013)
In this novel, Andrew Sean Greer draws inspiration from his grandfather, who received electroconvulsive therapy. The protagonist Greta Wells suffers depression due to a double attack of heartbreak— her twin brother has died of AIDS, and her lover has left her for another woman. In dealing with her depression, she undergoes electroconvulsive therapy that makes her wake up in a different era each time. Her consciousness hovers in three timelines.
The first timeline is the year 1918, when her twin brother is alive, healthy, and engaged to a senator’s daughter. The second timeline is 1941, where Greta’s husband stays with her, and they have a child together, and the third is 1985, in which she experiences all her great losses.
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer is a pleasant twist to the popular narrative of time travel.
Andrew Sean Greer has received the greatest recognition in his writing career from this novel. And according to Greer, Less is his favorite among all his novels so far.
Less is an award-winning novel, a bestseller, and the most famous of Greer’s works. The novel is a satire that tells the story of a novelist Arthur Less, about to turn fifty and struggling in his career, whose long-time lover is marrying someone else, and he’s been invited to the wedding.
To avoid the rather pitiable situation of his presence at the wedding, he opts for another alternative— accepting every literary invitation he has been putting off.
Less is Lost (2022)
The “middle-aged gay white novelist” Arthur Less returns in this book and sets off on a journey again; this time, it is within the United States. This novel is a sequel to Greer’s 2017 novel Less. In Less Is Lost, our quirky character, Arthur Less, must travel to pursue literary gigs that will help him keep his home after the death of his old lover reveals some financial issues that threaten to strip him of the home where the has lived almost all his life.
Less Is Lost by Andrew Sean Greer is only available on pre-order at the moment. The novel will be officially released on September 20, 2022.