Canin's marvelous tale of Corey Sifter, a young working-class man who goes to work for a powerful family and ends up entangled in a political debacle, is wonderfully realized by Robertson Dean, whose deep bass tone is at once powerful and intimate. Told from Sifter's perspective as an older man, Dean captures every possible emotion that saturates Sifter's tone, be it regret or affection, and it's hard not to be riveted. His shifts in tone and dialect for many characters are subtle, his pacing is steady. Dean is quite possibly the quintessential narrator. A Random House hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 21). (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
America Americaby Ethan Canin
In the early 1970s, Corey Sifter, the son of working-class parents, becomes a yard boy on the grand estate of the powerful Metarey family. Soon, through the family’s generosity, he is a student at a private boarding school and an aide to the great New York senator Henry Bonwiller, who is running for president. Before long, Corey finds himself involved with… See more details below
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In the early 1970s, Corey Sifter, the son of working-class parents, becomes a yard boy on the grand estate of the powerful Metarey family. Soon, through the family’s generosity, he is a student at a private boarding school and an aide to the great New York senator Henry Bonwiller, who is running for president. Before long, Corey finds himself involved with one of the Metarey daughters as well, and he begins to leave behind the world of his upbringing. As the Bonwiller campaign gains momentum, Corey finds himself caught up in a complex web of events in which loyalty, politics, sex, and gratitude conflict with morality, love, and the truth. Ethan Canin’s stunning novel is about America as it was and is, a remarkable exploration of how vanity, greatness, and tragedy combine to change history and fate.
Canin's new work about class, politics, money, and media in the Nixon era through the present day will resonate powerfully with readers in this presidential election year. Corey Sifter, a working-class boy from a small New York town, is hired by the Metareys, the wealthiest family in Saline, to be a man-of-all-trades. His work ethic endears him to the Metareys, who treat him as one of the family, even paying for his prep school tuition. As both an insider and an outsider, Corey is in a unique position to observe the political maneuverings of Liam Metarey and his campaign to elect Sen. Henry Bonwiller to the presidency. However, Bonwiller's personal failings ruin not only his political career but also the finances and family life of the Metareys. This saga of politics and family is a superb achievement; Canin (The Palace Thief) interleaves past and present to create a classical tragedy from the very first page. This engrossing novel would be a good book club selection and is highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ2/1/08.]
“[A] many-layered epic of class, politics, sex, death, and social history . . . Its reach is wide and its touch often masterly.”—John Updike, The New Yorker
“An intoxicating big book–in both size and ambition. Thrilling . . . luminous.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A sprawling, captivating, timely work of art . . . Beautifully written, thoughtful, and imbuing all of its principal characters with dignity and understanding, America America is uncommon, ambitious and, like many of its characters, larger than life. . . . A novel that reminds us that fiction matters.”—Houston Chronicle
“Powerful and haunting, a major work.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A brilliant, serious book for serious readers.” —San Diego Union-Tribune
“Riveting and thought-provoking . . . [Canin] has unleashed all his considerable skills here, and it’s our reward that America America turns out to be his best and most affecting work.”—Miami Herald
“The most mature and accomplished novelist of his generation.”—National Public Radio
- Cengage Gale
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)
Meet the Author
Ethan Canin is the author of six books, including the story collections Emperor of the Air and The Palace Thief and the novels For Kings and Planets and Carry Me Across the Water. He is on the faculty of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and divides his time between Iowa and northern Michigan. He is also a physician.
- Iowa City, IA
- Date of Birth:
- July 19, 1960
- Place of Birth:
- Ann Arbor, MI
- A.B., Stanford, 1982; M.F.A., University of Iowa, 1984; M.D., Harvard Medical School, 1991
More from this Author
Read an Excerpt
But the politics of Carrol County aren't easily apparent, and to those who don't live up here they must be an absolute mystery that is further veiled by a habit of silence. We don't like to talk much, or to argue at all -- we just think there's too much work to be done. And we certainly don't like to talk politics, especially with a stranger — which, in these parts, means anyone the speaker hasn't known since elementary school. And in fact, this taciturn habit of ours might be the very thing that saved Henry Bonwiller when all his troubles began. For thirty years he protected the people of Carrol County. And when it was the people's turn, they protected him in return.
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