Synopses & Reviews
An astonishingly original new novel by the award-winning author of Harbor
(“Captivating”—The New York Times Book Review;
“A great, gutsy novel . . . Outstanding” —Entertainment Weekly
that moves from a newsroom in the American capital to a cockpit over Afghanistan, from an Iranian cemetery to a military intelligence office in suburban Washington, as it
explores a world of entwined conflicts and the way narratives about violence are told, twisted, hidden, or forgotten.
Here are fine-drawn, empathetic portraits of the often overlooked actors of Americas infinite global war: the ridiculed night editor of a prestigious newspaper, an overburdened nuclear engineer, a duty-bound female fighter pilot, a religiously impassioned novice reporter, a sergeant major thrust into the responsibilities of a secretive command. Their longings and loyalties take us, in the course of one shattering year, from a forested city park where child whores set up business to a Dubai hotel where a desperate man tries to disappear, from the nighttime corridors of Walter Reed Hospital to the snow-thickened mountains of the Hindu Kush.
Told in language as stunning for its beauty as for its verisimilitude, The Room and the Chair dazzlingly bends the conventions of literary suspense to create an unforgettable, groundbreaking chronicle of todays dangerous world.
"As in the best of Le Carre, this is a world in which nothing is what it seems; but unlike in Le Carre, the drama of the book is as much about hotel rooms exploding in unattractive regions of Iran and mean tween hookers pinching their mothers' tricks as it is about Adams's brilliant and innovative use of language. The very title of the book (particularly when combined with its author's plain-Jane, Midwestern-sounding name) suggests homey domesticity, a novel perhaps set somewhere lovely on Cape Cod or on a Wisconsin farm; but as the book moves forward, the meaning of even these very concrete words, room and chair, become charged with unexpected nuance." Benjamin Moser, Harper's Magazine
(Read the entire Harper's review
About the Author
Lorraine Adams is a novelist, critic, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Her novel Harbor won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, was a finalist for the Orange and Guardian First Book prizes, and was selected as a New York Times Best Book, as a Washington Post Notable Book, and as Entertainment Weeklys Best Novel of the Year. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review and Bookforum and was a staff writer at The Washington Post for eleven years. She lives in New York City.