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BOOKS
by
Eric Larsen

Click cover to buy a copy..........1988—AN AMERICAN MEMORY, a novel. Winner of the first "Heartland Award," given annually since 1988 by the Chicago Tribune for the best novel about the middle west or by a midwestern author. "In An American Memory the past is the enemy. This haunting first novel is the scarred history of three generations of the Reiner family—descendents of Norwegian pioneers—whose portraits are sketched against the vast spread of the Midwestern plains. Seen through the eyes of the third generation, An American Memory captures the land’s pulsating rhythms and a boy’s isolation. The boy, Malcolm, lives in a sparsely furnished house on a half-abandoned farm near the town of West Tree, Minnesota. He is a quiet child who grows up listening." Read more about the book here. Read excerpts here.


Click cover to buy a copy ..........2006—I AM ZOË HANDKE, a novel. "At the end of Eric Larsen’s prizewinning first novel, An American Memory, the hero, Malcolm Reiner, married. And, as Malcolm, whose upbringing threatened to cripple him forever, reported, 'We have agreed to marry and leave the Midwest.' Now I Am Zoë Handke, Eric Larsen’s extraordinary portrait of the strange, grave, elegant girl Malcolm married, completes the story of a deeply dependent marriage." Read more about the book here. Read excerpts here.



Click cover to buy a copy...........2006—A NATION GONE BLIND: AMERICA IN AN AGE OF SIMPLIFICATION AND DECEIT. Meanwhile, this from the author: "I was born in 1941 (I have two memories from the Second World War), struggled through adolescence in the 1950’s, spent most of the 1960’s getting educated, and, from 1970 or so until spring 2006 worked, in one form or another, as an English prof. That’s my life, and A Nation Gone Blind is a book about the changes that, during it, I’ve seen for myself—changes in American art, literature, academics, high culture and low, mass media, and—far, far from least—politics. The state of America’s cultural and intellectual health—as can now be seen by anyone who either dares or cares to look—seems to me disastrous, the state of the nation in general one of desperate emergency. The fact is that America may, conceivably, no longer even now be a free republic, and another fact is that it may, just as conceivably, lack the inner strength ever to become one again. Yet in spite of this situation, almost no one—and I mean nation-wide—is writing or speaking openly, broadly, penetratingly, or persuasively about it or them, and certainly they’re not reaching a wide enough or a responsive enough audience. It’s as though speaking the truth about America’s politico-cultural health has itself become taboo. Or, worse, it’s as though Americans have become blind to the very fact, nature, and extent of the real emergency they’re now living in the midst of." Read more about the book here. Read excerpts here. Read an interview with the the author—also by the author—for more discussion of the book and the emergencies it talks about. For all of this and more, click here.




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