Parnassus Books is pleased to welcome Alice McDermott to celebrate her new book, Absolution.
This is a free event which will take place IN STORE on Wednesday, November 1st at 6:30pm Central Time. Because space will be limited, registration is required to attend this event. Please register for free by filling out the form below! (Note: If for any reason you need to cancel your registration, please call the store at 615-953-2243 at least 24 hours before the event so your space can be provided to another guest.) Masks are strongly encouraged during this event.
About the Book
A riveting account of women's lives on the margins of the Vietnam War, from the renowned winner of the National Book Award.
You have no idea what it was like. For us. The women, I mean. The wives.
American women--American wives--have been mostly minor characters in the literature of the Vietnam War, but in Absolution they take center stage. Tricia is a shy newlywed, married to a rising attorney on loan to navy intelligence. Charlene is a practiced corporate spouse and mother of three, a beauty and a bully. In Saigon in 1963, the two women form a wary alliance as they balance the era's mandate to be "helpmeets" to their ambitious husbands with their own, inchoate impulse to "do good" for the people of Vietnam.
Sixty years later, Charlene's daughter, spurred by an encounter with an aging Vietnam vet, reaches out to Tricia. Together, they look back at their time in Saigon, taking wry account of that pivotal year and of Charlene's altruistic machinations, and discovering as they do how their own lives as women on the periphery--of politics, of history, of war, of their husbands' convictions--have been shaped and burdened by the same sort of unintended consequences that followed America's tragic interference in Southeast Asia.
A virtuosic new novel from Alice McDermott, one of our most observant, most affecting writers--about folly and grace, obligation, sacrifice, and, finally, the quest for absolution in a broken world.
About the Author
Alice McDermott is the author of several novels, including The Ninth Hour; Someone; After This; Child of My Heart; Charming Billy, winner of the 1998 National Book Award; and At Weddings and Wakes—all published by FSG. That Night, At Weddings and Wakes, and After This were all finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and elsewhere. For more than two decades she was the Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the faculty at the Sewanee Writers Conference. McDermott lives with her family outside Washington, D.C.