Donald Barthelme was known chiefly for his short fiction, much of which appeared initially in "The New Yorker" magazine. He was also the author of several novels (including "Snow White", "The Dead Father", "Paradise", and the posthumous "The King"), children's books, miscellaneous non-fiction, and film and book reviews. This book examines in detail both the fiction and non-fiction of one of the most acclaimed writers of innovative American fiction. It places Barthelme's work within the context of other post-modern disciplines, identifies his major themes, and analyzes his experiments with language. In "Understanding Donald Barthelme", Trachtenberg introduces readers to Barthelme's ultimately affirmative humour and the wry acknowledgment of the conditions out of which it emerges.