The Return of Ansel Gibbs (1958)

Winner of the Rosenthal Award, 1959

Book Description

“The Return of Ansel Gibbs opens with a news conference and an explanation from the central character, a public figure, a politician of sorts…Buechner's central character in the novel is a man of words, a man of civilization and sophistication, a man of breeding and sensitivity. Ansel Gibbs, the VIP, has been appointed to a cabinet post by the president. The nomination precipitates a personal crisis for Gibbs, who has been in retirement for two years on his farm in Montana and now must journey to Washington for Senate hearings to confirm his appointment.[…]The novel is another consideration of the courage required to assert one's humanity in the modern world. For Ansel Gibbs, the central word is ‘ambivalence.’”

— W. Dale Brown, The Book of Buechner


“This is a wholly absorbing, mature, and timely work. The fact that it is also delightful reading is a tribute to its author's skill.”
— A. C. Spectorsky, Saturday Review

“Mr. Buechner has written an extraordinarily dramatic story.”
— Charles Poore, The New York Times

“Mr. Buechner casts his own particular, brilliantly indirect illumination on a private world that is luxurious, comfortable, furnished with intelligence and a certain charm, possessed of intense loyalty to itself and its members, and generous, with polite and sensible reservations, to outsiders.”
The New Yorker

“This is a mature piece of work.”
Literary News

“There is depth and sensitivity to his writing that gives life to the most unreal of his characters.”
— John P. Marquand