In Bakers The Anthologist, Paul Chowder tried to launch a collection of formal verse. Here hes eager to write a pop song or a protest song or, ideally, both. Baker will get the music right, as he played bassoonist (briefly) with the Rochester Philharmonic.

A new novel by bestselling author Nicholson Baker reintroduces feckless but hopeful hero Paul Chowder, whose struggle to get his life together is reflected in his steadfast desire to write a pop song, or a protest song, or both at once.