Douglas Bauer’s profound and exquisitely written first novel quickly established him as one of America’s best new writers. This is the story of Ed and Ramona, high school lovers who married young. And when Ramona, seeing the ever-clearer reality of life with Ed, turns and walks away from her house, from her life, and from her small baby boy, Ed is stunned into a depth of uncomprehending rage. With a deer hunter’s patience and a maniacal precision, Ed gathers what he needs and, in the dark of early winter, leaves to find his wife.

This darkly poetic novel is imbued with the same tough and tender understanding of the emotional lives of real people that distinguishes Bauer’s subsequent novels, The Very Air and The Book of Famous Iowans.

“Douglas Bauer is a novelist of enormous power and boundless talent.”—William Kennedy
“From his supple prose to his common touch, one can detect in Douglas Bauer a substantial talent. The genius of Dexterity is that it is scrupulously organized and yet seamless in its narrative structure. In other words, Mr. Bauer is himself extremely dexterous.”—New York Times Book Review
“An altogether stunning debut. . . . Bauer’s prose is rich, startlingly resonant and stylistically powerful.”—The Detroit News

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Publication Details

Publication Date
Pages, art, trim size
318 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4