The Names

A novel by Don DeLillo, 1982

Published by Knopf, 1982, 339 pages. Jacket design by Fred Marcellino.
British first edition published by Harvester, 1983.
Paperbacks in US issued by Vintage, starting 1983.
The Names Editions.

Dedication: "to Barbara" (DeLillo's wife)

What it's about:
Set in Greece (where DeLillo lived for a few years, approx. 1979-1982) and the Middle East, a novel involving U.S. businessmen and terrorists.
Here's the original dust jacket copy.

First line:
"For a long time I stayed away from the Acropolis."

What it's really about:
From the DeCurtis interview: "In The Names, I spent a lot of time searching for the kind of sun-cut precision I found in Greek light and in the Greek landscape. I wanted a prose which would have the clarity and the accuracy which the natural environment at its best in that part of the world seems to inspire in our own senses. I mean, there were periods in Greece when I tasted and saw and heard with much more sharpness and clarity than I'd ever done before or since. And I wanted to discover a sentence, a way of writing sentences that would be the prose counterpart to that clarity--that sensuous clarity of the Aegean experience."

Check out the The Names Media Watch for contemporary reviews of the novel.

Next novel: White Noise.
Back to DeLillo's novels.

Last updated: 01-FEB-2010