Essayist, novelist, and short-story writer, William H. Gass (1924-2017) was an important figure in the American literary scene since the 1970s. Author of six works of fiction and nine of non-fiction, he was one of the leading figures of the formalist wave in contemporary American Literature. Professor of philosophy and inventor of the term “metafiction”, he is often associated with the postmodernist generation, alongside writers such as John Barth, Robert Coover and Donald Barthelme.

William H. Gass was born in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1924. Soon after his birth, his family moved to Warren, Ohio, where he spent his childhood during the Depression. Despite his early literary ambitions, he decided to major in philosophy …

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Citation: Monti, Enrico. "William Gass". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 October 2010; last revised 15 February 2023. [, accessed 21 September 2023.]

1700 William Gass 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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