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These Dreams of Youby Steve Erickson
Synopses & Reviews
One November night in a canyon outside L.A., Zan Nordhoc — a failed novelist turned pirate radio DJ — sits before the television with his small, adopted black daughter, watching the election of his country's first black president. In the nova of this historic moment, with an economic recession threatening their home, Zan, his wife and their son set out to solve the enigma of the little girl's life. When they find themselves scattered and strewn across two continents, a mysterious stranger with a secret appears, who sends the story spiraling forty years into the past.
"Erickson (Zeroville) follows middle-aged Caucasian Alexander 'Zan' Nordhoc's adoption of a four year-old Ethiopian girl, beginning on the eve of Barack Obama's election and leaping back 50 years and forward to a newly cross-cultural world. Daughter Sheba's arrival coincides with Zan's family's personal recession (soon joined by the nation's). A former professor of pop culture and former novelist, Zan broadcasts underground blues radio from his home in L.A. while his wife, Viv, searches in vain for photography work. 'The little girl who talks like she's twenty' brings issues of race and identity to the center of this family. In danger of losing their house, they are soon dealing with charges of human trafficking and illegal adoption. While Zan ferries Sheba to London for a rare paying lecture gig, Viv goes to Addis Ababa to try to sort out the adoption. But when Viv and Sheba both disappear, Zan is forced to examine his youthful mistakes and misconceptions and confront his dissonant reality. Told in a series of short, punchy sections, Erickson expertly weaves together themes of music, politics, and idealism in a modern story where preconceptions are outdated. Agent: The Melanie Jackson Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Over his entire career Erickson has challenged readers with a fiercely intelligent and surprisingly sensual brand of American surrealism." Washington Post
"Erickson has established a reputation as a daring, lyrical writer with a strong following among other novelists and a distinctive brand of cultural taste: West Coast, genre-bending and earnestly experimental." LA Times
"With this book, set against the backdrop of Obama's ascendancy to the presidency, Erickson weaves a complex and imaginative literary tapestry about family and identity." Kirkus (starred review)
"Erickson's seemingly fractured novel turns out to be something else — the novel as fractal, a series of endless, astounding tessellations." The New York Times
About the Author
Steve Erickson is the author of eight previous novels and two books about American politics and popular culture that have been published in ten languages. His work has appeared in publications such as Esquire, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times Magazine. He is currently the film critic for Los Angeles Magazine and the editor of the literary journal Black Clock, which is published by CalArts. He lives with his family near Los Angeles.
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