Eat the Document

Eat the Document

by Dana Spiotta
2.5 6

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Eat the Document by Dana Spiotta

Dana Spiotta, whom Michiko Kakutani called "wonderfully observant and wonderfully gifted...with an uncanny feel for the absurdities and sadness of contemporary life" (The New York Times), has written a bold and moving novel about a fugitive radical from the 1970s who has lived in hiding for twenty-five years. Eat the Document is a hugely compelling story of activism, sacrifice, and the cost of living a secret.

In the heyday of the 1970s underground, Bobby DeSoto and Mary Whittaker -- passionate, idealistic, and in love -- design a series of radical protests against the Vietnam War. When one action goes wrong, the course of their lives is forever changed. The two must erase their past, forge new identities, and never see each other again.

Now it is the 1990s. Mary lives in the suburbs with her fifteen-year-old son, who spends hours immersed in the music of his mother's generation. She has no idea where Bobby is, whether he is alive or dead.

Shifting between the protests in the 1970s and the consequences of those choices in the 1990s, Dana Spiotta deftly explores the connection between the two eras -- their language, technology, music, and activism. Character-driven and brilliant, Eat the Document is an important and revelatory novel about the culture of rebellion, with particular resonance now.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743288996
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 02/21/2006
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 754,607
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Dana Spiotta is the author of Innocents and Others; Stone Arabia, A National Books Critics Circle Award finalist; and Eat the Document, a finalist for the National Book Award. Spiotta is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize for Literature. She lives in Syracuse, New York.


Cherry Valley, New York

Date of Birth:

January 15, 1966

Place of Birth:

New Jersey


B.A., The Evergreen State College, 1992

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Eat the Document 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great example of compelling literary fiction. A great spread of characters- a sullen 15year old, a sad and vague suburban mom, her secret past, a paranoid and hallucinating shop owner, and his slackerish manager who is amused by all the young activists. This is a story about how we come to posses identity and what happens when we shed an old identity for a new one.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that this would be a good book. However, I thought that it was long and slow going. At or about pp 150 is when the book start to move. I think that the story line could have been better written. I could have gone without some of the characters.