Byrd's Books welcomes Alice McDermott to discuss her new book, Absolution, via zoom on Wednesday November 29th at 7:00pm. Registration is required. We have signed copies in the bookstore- you may call or order below.
About the book:
You have no idea what it was like. For us. The women, I mean. The wives.
American women--American wives--have been mostly minor characters in the literature of the Vietnam War, but in Absolution they take center stage. Tricia is a shy newlywed, married to a rising attorney on loan to navy intelligence. Charlene is a practiced corporate spouse and mother of three, a beauty and a bully. In Saigon in 1963, the two women form a wary alliance as they balance the era's mandate to be "helpmeets" to their ambitious husbands with their own inchoate impulse to "do good" for the people of Vietnam.
Sixty years later, Charlene's daughter, spurred by an encounter with an aging Vietnam vet, reaches out to Tricia. Together, they look back at their time in Saigon, taking wry account of that pivotal year and of Charlene's altruistic machinations, and discovering how their own lives as women on the periphery--of politics, of history, of war, of their husbands' convictions--have been shaped and burdened by the same sort of unintended consequences that followed America's tragic interference in Southeast Asia.
About the author:
Alice McDermott is the author of nine novels, all published by FSG, including Charming Billy, winner of the National Book Award, and That Night, At Weddings and Wakes, and After This, which were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. She is also the author of the essay collection What About the Baby?: Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and other publications. She lives outside Washington, DC.
NOTE: Alice McDermott was one of our authors on our Write America series, curated by Roger Rosenblatt. Here is the episode with author Jill McCorkle from our Write America YouTube Channel.
I have read this book and was astonished at how well it is written- I just loved it! Alice
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