Friday, March 02, 2012

A New Novel from Terry Bisson: ANY DAY NOW

Award winning author Terry Bisson returns with a literary tour de force, ANY DAY NOW, available now. This impeccably written novel combines the coming-of-age story of a Middle American boy growing up in the 1960s with a surprising reimaging of American politics amid the radicalized culture that emerged in the Vietnam War era.

Torn between the hippie counterculture and the anti-war movement, a young Clay Bauer shuffles between Kentucky, New York City, and a commune in the Southwest, creating an exciting road movie of a novel filled with heartbreak, hope, and hauntingly original prose.

. . .

A word from Terry Bisson on writing his novel:

Like many others, I was washed in the rain of the Sixties, but I have always resisted the idea of writing about it. Everybody knows how things turned out. Why not write science fiction (excuse me, speculative fiction) instead? That kept me busy for thirty some-odd years. Then one day I thought, why not change how things turned out? What's a novelist anyway but a little god in pajamas? That kicked open a door. I was always surprised that Philip Roth (The Plot Against America) didn't seem to realize that he was writing in an old and established sub-genre of science fiction, the alternate history. He seemed to think he'd invented it! So I needn't apologize for stealing a scene from him. Turn-about is fair play and ours is just one universe among many.

. . .


Bisson pays homage to the beat poets as he embraces the social atmosphere of the late ’60s and early ’70s in staccato, pared-down prose that suits the novel’s coming-of-age narrative…He shows true finesse in capturing the mood of a generation. Though shy of 300 pages, the novel feels epic. —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Those interested in American social and political history, the Beats, and sociology will find this portrait an artistic, authentic rendering of life across America in the mid-twentieth century. In the beginning, Clay seems destined to become a Holden Caulfield, but he quickly comes of age. From there, the focus of the story broadens to chronicle an entire subculture." Foreword Reviews

In this unsettling but always interesting alternate-history novel, which offers much subversive commentary on contemporary society, Bisson’s jazzlike prose summons a utopia whose adherents seek personal freedom only to find that their basic civil liberties can vanish in an instant. —Booklist

The author, a writer of (probably under-appreciated) SF and Fantasy novels, here deftly resurrects Sixties America. As history is gradually subverted and chronology reshuffled, the reader is slightly jarred and then fascinated by the dramatic world presented. Highly recommended for its literary quality and creativity of vision.Library Journal


"A personal masterpiece, a book which will drop you through the floor of your assumptions about coming of age inside the politics and counterculture of the Vietnam era and into a fresh new-old world, in which you'll live, for the duration of this book, as your own."--Jonathan Lethem

"An unsettling, funny, freaky reimaging of America, impeccably written, by one of our most consistently interestingtransgressors of literary boundaries."—Michael Chabon

"A great novel…Here's a deeply convincing story of what was, what is, and what might have been. Terry Bisson, always one of the most starling writers on the planet, was born to write this book." —Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls Rising

"I'm in awe of his skills now, as I was forty years ago. Treat yourself to this book, but be warned. I'm still trying to find the hole he pulled me through. Some things you learn, there's no way back." —Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall.

"Bisson makes that most dramatic era pop to life in a most startling way. This is the great novel of the Sixties. —Kim Stanley Robinson, author of Red Mars

"This is the best fiction about what's called the Sixties ever written. If you were there then, this is where you were." —John Crowley


3/6: Booksmith; San Francisco, CA, 7:00 PM

3/7: Moe's Books; Berkeley, CA, 7:00 PM

3/8: Capitola Bookstore; Santa Cruz, CA, 7:30 PM

3/18: Left Forum, NYC

3/21: KGB Bar; NYC, 7:00 PM

3/29: Book Passage; Corte Madera, CA, 7:30 PM

3/31: Anarchist Book Fair, San Francisco, CA

4/2: Mercyhurst College; Eerie, PA, 8:15 PM

4/7: Borderlands Books; San Francisco, CA. 3:00 PM

4/23: University of Washington Bookstore; Seattle, WA, 7:00 PM

4/24: Village Books; Bellingham, WA, 7:00 PM

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