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Machine Dreams
     

Machine Dreams

by Jayne Anne Phillips
 

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In her highly acclaimed debut novel, the bestselling author of Shelter introduces the Hampsons, an ordinary, small-town American family profoundly affected by the extraordinary events of history. Here is a stunning chronicle that begins with the Depression and ends with the Vietnam War, revealed in the thoughts, dreams, and memories of each family member. Mitch

Overview

In her highly acclaimed debut novel, the bestselling author of Shelter introduces the Hampsons, an ordinary, small-town American family profoundly affected by the extraordinary events of history. Here is a stunning chronicle that begins with the Depression and ends with the Vietnam War, revealed in the thoughts, dreams, and memories of each family member. Mitch struggles to earn a living as Jeans becomes the main breadwinner, working to coplete college and raise the family. While the couple fight to keep their marriage intact, their daughter Danner and son Billy forge a sibling bond of uncommon strength. When Billy goes off to Vietnam, Danner becomes the sole bond linking her family, whose dissolution mirrors the fractured state of America in the 1960s. Deeply felt and vividly imagined, this lyrical novel is "among the wisest of a generation to grapple with a war that maimed us all" (The Village Voice), by a master of contemporary fiction.

Editorial Reviews

Charles McGrath
....[T]he novel's thrilling shocks arise from ordinary moments that suddenly burst with deep meaning we had not anticipated. -- The New York Times Books of the Century
Michiko Kakutani
"A remarkable novelistic debut and an enduring literary achievement....It's subject is history and the passage of time -- as mirrored in the fortunes of the Hampson family, whose own dissolution reflects the dislocations suffered by this country in the wake of the 1960s and Vietnam....This astonishing book established Jane Anne Phillips as a novelist of the first order." -- The New York Times
From the Publisher
"A beautifully patterned novel . . . an enduring literary achievement . . . astonishing."—The New York Times"Machine Dreams, in its wisdom and its compassionate, utterly unsentimental rendering of the American condition, will rank as one of the great books of [the] decade. Jayne Anne Phillips is a blessing."—Robert Stone"An intensely Ameican, beautifully written first novel. . . . It carries the strength of myth, and yet is utterly of our times."—The Wall Street Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307808844
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/09/2011
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
313,881
File size:
2 MB

What People are Saying About This

E L. Doctorow
"Reading Machine Dreams, we are persuaded that truly rendered family life may now be the presiding virtue of the American novel."
Nadine Gordiner
"Reaches one's deepest emotions. No number of books read or films seen can get anyone to the intimate act of art by which this wonderful young writer has penetrated the definitive experience of her generation."

Meet the Author

Jayne Anne Phillips was born in Buckhannon, West Virginia. She is the author of three novels, MotherKind (2000), Shelter (1994) and Machine Dreams (1984), and two collections of widely anthologized stories, Fast Lanes (1987) and Black Tickets (1979). She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Bunting Fellowship. She has been awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction (1980) and an Academy Award in Literature (1997) by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work has been translated into twelve languages, and has appeared in Granta, Harper’s, DoubleTake, and The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. She is currently Professor of English and Director of the MFA Program at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. Her new novel, Lark and Termite, is forthcoming from Knopf.

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