American Wife

American Wife

  • Paperback
By (author) Curtis Sittenfeld

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In the year 2000, in the closest election in American history, Alice Blackwell's husband becomes president of the United States. Their time in the White House proves to be heady, tumultuous, and controversial. But it is Alice's own story - that of a kind, bookish, only child born in the 1940s Midwest who comes to inhabit a life of dizzying wealth and power - that is itself remarkable. Alice candidly describes her small-town upbringing, and the tragedy that shaped her identity; she recalls her early adulthood as a librarian, and her surprising courtship with the man who swept her off her feet; she tells of the crisis that almost ended their marriage; and, she confides the privileges and difficulties of being first lady, a role that is uniquely cloistered and public, secretive and exposed.In Alice Blackwell, Curtis Sittenfeld has created her most dynamic and complex heroine yet. "American Wife" is not a novel about politics. It is a gorgeously written novel that weaves race, class, fate and wealth into a brilliant tapestry. It is a novel in which the unexpected becomes inevitable, and the pleasures and pain of intimacy and love are laid bare.

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  • Paperback | 576 pages
  • 10 Oct 2008
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • DOUBLEDAY
  • London
  • 0385616740
  • 9780385616744
  • 387,858

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Author Information

Curtis Sittenfeld is the author of the bestselling novels Prep and The Man of My Dreams. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She lives in St Louis with her husband.

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Review quote

"* 'My favourite book of the year.' - Kate Atkinson * 'I was utterly absorbed in this story of a political marriage and a wife who has her own reasons. Curtis Sittenfeld has thrown a powerful light on small town America and its misunderstood values.' - Linda Grant, Booker shortlisted author of The Clothes on Their Backs * 'A classic story, with a langorous pace and a fierce literary integrity...Sittenfeld has provided a plausible secret history of an American embarrassment -- and a grand entertainment.' - Joe Klein, author of Primary Colors * 'Curtis Sittenfeld is an amazing writer, and American Wife is a brave and moving novel about the intersection of private and public life in America. Ambitious and humble at the same time, Sittenfeld refuses to trivialize or simplify people, whether real or imagined.' - Richard Russo"

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