Authors like William Gaddis
William Thomas Gaddis, Jr. (December 29, 1922 – December 16, 1998) was an American novelist.
The first and longest of his five novels, The Recognitions, was named one of TIME magazine's 100 best novels from 1923 to 2005
and two others, J R and A Frolic of His Own, won the annual U.S. National Book Award for Fiction.
A collection of his essays was published posthumously as The Rush for Second Place (2002). The Letters of William Gaddis was published by Dalkey Archive Press in February 2013.
A MacArthur Fellow, Gaddis is widely considered one of the first and most important American postmodern writers.
Gaddis was born in New York City to William Thomas Gaddis, who worked "on Wall Street and in politics", and Edith (Charles) Gaddis, who worked her way up from being secretary to the president of the New York Steam Corporation to an executive position as its chief purchasing agent. When he was three, his parents separated and Gaddis was subsequently raised by his mother in Massapequa, Long Island. At age 5 he was sent to Merricourt Boarding School in Berlin, Connecticut. He continued in private school until the eighth grade, after which he returned to Long Island to receive his diploma at Farmingdale High School in 1941. He entered Harvard in 1941 where he was a member of the Harvard Lampoon (where he eventually served as President), but was asked to leave in 1944 due to an altercation with police. He worked as a fact checker for The New Yorker for little over a year (late February 1945 until late April 1946), then spent five years traveling in Mexico, Central America, Spain, France, England, and North Africa, returning to the United States in 1951.