Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines a Life (Hardcover)

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Description


Dazzlingly original, Ann Beattie's Mrs. Nixon is a riveting exploration of an elusive American icon and of the fiction writer's art.

Pat Nixon remains one of our most mysterious and intriguing public figures, the only modern First Lady who never wrote a memoir. Beattie, like many of her generation, dismissed Richard Nixon's wife: "interchangeable with a Martian," she said. Decades later, she wonders what it must have been like to be married to such a spectacularly ambitious and catastrophically self-destructive man.

Drawing on a wealth of sources from Life magazine to accounts by Nixon's daughter and his doctor to The Haldeman Diaries and Jonathan Schell's The Time of Illusion, Beattie reconstructs dozens of scenes in an attempt to see the world from Mrs. Nixon's point of view. Like Stephen King's On Writing, this fascinating and intimate account offers readers a rare glimpse into the imagination of a writer.

Beattie, whose fiction Vanity Fair calls "irony-laced reports from the front line of the baby boomers' war with themselves," packs insight and humor into her examination of the First Couple with whom boomers came of age. Mrs. Nixon is a startlingly compelling and revelatory work.

Praise For…


“Beattie gives us tantalizing glimpses of Mrs. Nixon, and a fully realized account of fiction, fiction writing, and the fiction writer.”—The Boston Globe



“Irresistible.”—The San Francisco Chronicle



“Strikingly original…Both timely and unique: a postmodern take on Nixon’s life that blurs fact and fiction.”—Entertainment Weekly



“Beattie captures something familiar in Pat, making us care about her.” —Barbara Liss, The Houston Chronicle



“A fascinating look at the writer in her workshop.”—Alan Cheuse, NPR’s “All Things Considered”



“Beattie writes insightfully and with contagious excitement of the artistic process and offers remarkable analysis of the world’s literary greats…Her respect for them is a beautiful thing to behold.”—M.E. Collins, Chicago Sun-Times



Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781439168714
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: November 15th, 2011
Pages: 304