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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

The Origin of the Brunists,  by Robert Coover

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The Origin of the Brunists, by Robert Coover

Coover - The Origin of the Brunists - Cover.jpg
Coover - The Origin of the Brunists - Cover.jpg

The Origin of the Brunists, by Robert Coover

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Originally published in 1969 and now back in print after over a decade, Robert Coover's first novel instantly established his mastery. A coal-mine explosion in a small mid-American town claims ninety-seven lives. The only survivor, a lapsed Catholic given to mysterious visions, is adopted as a doomsday prophet by a group of small-town mystics. "Exposed" by the town newspaper editor, the cult gains international notoriety and its ranks swell. As its members gather on the Mount of Redemption to await the apocalypse, Robert Coover lays bare the madness of religious frenzy and the sometimes greater madness of "normal" citizens. The Origin of the Brunists is vintage Coover -- comic, fearless, incisive, and brilliantly executed.


"A novel of intensity and conviction...[Coover] may become heir to Dreiser or Lewis.... He has splendid talent."--The New York Times Book Review

"A breathtaking masterpiece on any level you approach it."--Sol Yurick, author of An Island Death

"[The Origin of the Brunists] delivers the goods; it explodes on the reader...says what it has to say with rudeness, vigor, poetry and a headlong narrative momentum."--The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)


Robert Coover has published fourteen novels, three books of short fiction, and a collection of plays since The Origin of the Brunists received the William Faulkner Foundation First Novel Award in 1966. His short fiction has appeared in the NewYorker,Harper's, and Playboy, amongst many other publications.