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