Home: A Novel

Home: A Novel

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by Hazard Adams
     
 

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Fact meets fiction in Hazard Adams's latest novel. Using an actual turn-of-the-century anarchist commune on Washington's south Puget Sound as the backdrop, Adams tells the story of Edward Williams, a present-day history professor and former vice president at nearby State University. As he studies and imagines the lives of those who participated in the commune, which

Overview

Fact meets fiction in Hazard Adams's latest novel. Using an actual turn-of-the-century anarchist commune on Washington's south Puget Sound as the backdrop, Adams tells the story of Edward Williams, a present-day history professor and former vice president at nearby State University. As he studies and imagines the lives of those who participated in the commune, which came under vicious attack after the assassination of President McKinley in 1901, Williams is drawn into disputes on his campus over the proposed appointment of a distinguished feminist professor of American studies and an alleged case of sexual harassment. Both comic and tragic events ensue.

Employing photographs taken at Home in 1902 and 2000 and parts of diaries kept by visitors to the commune, Adams dramatizes the parallels and contrasts between the events of 1902 and those of 1990-91 as they are experienced by a variety of characters in both periods.

With Home, Adams completes his fictive account of academic life in the latter half of the twentieth century, begun with The Horses of Instruction, set in the fifties, and continued with Many Pretty Toys, set in 1970-71.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The last in Adams's Academic Trilogy is a thoughtful but soporific work that intersperses a tale of 1990s academic infighting with the history of an anarchists' colony in Puget Sound at the turn of the last century. The author tries to remap the turmoil of Home's '60s-based predecessor (Many Pretty Toys, 1999) using the vastly different topography of culture studies and sexual harassment. Some of the same characters as before, now ready to retire, use their accumulated wisdom and cooler heads to soothe discord among the English faculty at State University who are trying contentiously to fill an endowed chair as well as select a new department head. The battle lines are drawn, however. While dean Helen Grant can maneuver to some good effect behind the scenes, and history professor Edward Williams, heading an outside committee to conduct a departmental review, can use his research into the collapse of the anarchist community of Home to guide his understanding of departmental dynamics, neither one of them can defuse a situation that goes swiftly from farcical to fatal. As in the previous installment, sweet reason falls short, but here the level of academic insularity also deadens the drama.
From the Publisher
“The parallel in Adams’s latest novel—between latter-day discontents in an English department and a short-lived colony of good-natured anarchists who occupied the woods at the bottom of Puget Sound early in the twentieth century—is wise rather than clever, and shapely, not forced. While it steers fairly close, in theme, to what goes on in ‘Opinion’ pieces in The Chronicle of Higher Education or the kind of laborious academic satire that no one really reads, Home is better than that—it’s a novel, not a satire.” — Bruce Michelson, author of Literary Wit

Many Pretty Toys

“An intelligent account of intelligent people trapped within their own intelligence: Adams writes sharply and without favor about a period of history that is almost always considered in strictly partisan terms.” — KIRKUS REVIEWS

“Adams’s shrewd tale of Vietnam-era idealism on a college campus plays out with dignity and intelligence.” — Publishers Week

“In our multimedia age, it’s refreshing to be reminded how literature on its own, and without being written for TV, can compellingly define the watershed events of the century. The events at issue in Hazard Adams’s brilliant fourth novel are the student anti-war and anti-establishment protests of the late 1960s and early ’70s, which forever altered our world view of how those coming of age matriculate into society.” — SEATTLE WEEKLY

The Horses of Instruction

“…witty and merciless, yet not a satire of folly only, for even the antagonists are seen and understood eventually in the light of a humane understanding, though they are not forgiven.” — Los Angeles Ties

The Academic Tribes

“An enjoyable description (and vivisection!) of the various groups who people Academe.…Essential for anyone who extracts his livelihood from the forests primeval of Academe and who periodically suffers fits on the meaning of it all.” — Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791489994
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
09/18/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
1 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Hazard Adams is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at the University of Washington. His previous books include Many Pretty Toys, also published by SUNY Press; The Horses of Instruction; The Academic Tribes; and The Truth About Dragons: An Anti-Romance.

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Home 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago