After writing about phone sex (in VOX), and masturbatory fantasy (in the FERMATA), Baker-watchers have been curious to see what he would come up with next. He is going to confound everyone with this, his new novel, in which he moves from the wilder shores of the sexual imagination to pre-sex, to the consciousness of a nine-year old girl. THE EVERLASTING STORY OF NORY is about Nory, short for Eleonor, an American girl spending a year in an English cathedral town, based closely on Ely. She relates her impressions, tells us her favourite stories and dreams, comes to terms with the intricate politics of school friendships, explores the town. Nicholson Baker has written a stunningly intimate record of the world perceived through the mind of a young girl. Funny, disconcerting, sometimes very moving, excruciatingly autobiographical, this is Vintage Baker, and a brave and original novel.