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America Was Hard to Find

America Was Hard to Find

Ecuador, 1969: An American expatriate, Fay Fern, sits in the corner of a restaurant, she and her young son Wright turned away from the television where Vincent Kahn becomes the first man to walk on the moon.
Years earlier, Fay and Vincent meet at a pilots’ bar in the Mojave Desert. Both seemed poised for reinvention-the married test pilot, Vincent, as an astronaut; the spurned child of privilege, Fay, as an activist. Their casual affair ends quickly, but its consequences linger.

Though their lives split, their senses of purpose deepen in tandem, each becoming heroes to different sides of the political spectrum of the 1960s and 70s: Vincent an icon with no plan beyond the mission for which he has single-mindedly trained, Fay a leader of a violent leftist group whose anti-Vietnam actions make her one of the FBI’s most wanted. With her last public appearance, a demonstration that frames the Apollo program as a vehicle for distracting the American public from its country’s atrocities, Fay leaves Wright to contend with her legacy, his own growing apathy, and the misdeeds of both his mother and his country.

An immense, vivid reimagining of the Cold War era, America Was Hard to Find traces the fallout of the cultural revolution that divided the country and explores the meaning of individual lives in times of upheaval. It also confirms Kathleen Alcott’s reputation as a fearless and vital voice in fiction.
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Adventure / War & Combat Fiction / Vietnam War Fiction

On Sale: 16th January 2020

Price: £19.99

ISBN-13: 9781474614566

Reviews

[Alcott's] prose has a way of finding the cinematic in the personal .... Alcott's narration is penetrating and elegant, but she gives her characters some of the wittiest and most screen-ready dialogue in contemporary fiction.
Paris Review
A marvel of compression and controlled description ... Fay's ambition, at the start of America Was Hard to Find, is to make life 'happen more deeply inside her.' Alcott's novel is a finely calibrated machine that does the same for us.
BookForum
Readers who value elegant style will savour Alcott's musical sentences and dreamlike pacing ... Readers who enjoy literary fiction have a golden opportunity to not just look, but also to really see. Highly recommended.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Absorbing ... Ambitious ... Shimmering, knife-sharp descriptions of small and often devastating moments of individual experience within those larger histories ... The reader experiences the era's social upheavals and contests of values at their most intimate register.
New York Times Book Review
Alcott is an impressionistic stylist capable of lovely, luminous effects on the brushstroke level of the sentence ... Alcott is at her best in zero gravity.
Wall Street Journal
Sixties radicalism and the space program are set in fruitful juxtaposition ... Displays a sure-handed lyricism
The New Yorker
Powerful.... America Was Hard to Find leaves readers wanting more of this story and everything else Alcott has written.
BookPage
Like Franzen or DeLillo, Alcott brings awe-inspiring exactitude and lyricism to her dive into three of America's most iconic moments.... In her exquisite and poignant reimagining of historic events, Alcott dissects their impacts in a sweeping yet intimate saga that challenges assumptions and assesses the depths of human frustration.
Booklist