AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Byline: Marta Salij
It is not altogether a blessing to be called a writer's writer, since it's often a way of saying ever so politely that your critical praise is greater than your sales.
But Charles Baxter's ``The Feast of Love'' is likely to move him into the ranks of reader's writers. It is the most joyous and playful of his three novels, a beautiful, sly, bawdy and wondrous conversation on love, on mistaken pairings and the happiness when they are set aright.
``The Feast of Love'' takes off from the fretful insomniac rambles of one Charlie Baxter, ``somebody like me who seems to live in my house,'' says Baxter, 52, novelist, short-story writer and U-M professor since 1989. (From 1974 to 1989, he taught at Wayne State.) It makes vague nods to Shakespeare's ``A Midsummer Night's Dream'' in that the story concerns several lovers who are paired off wrongly, and only through much trial _ and the intervention of the gods? _ find their true partners.
One late night, Charlie wakes, disoriented, suffering from an ``identity lapse'' (no doubt a …