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American Wife: A Novel
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Random House Publishing Group 2008
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Description
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A gorgeously written novel that weaves class, wealth, race, and fate into a brilliant portrait of a first lady—from the author of Rodham and Eligible

“Terrific . . . an intelligent, bighearted novel about a controversial political dynasty.”—Entertainment Weekly
 
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: TimePeopleEntertainment Weekly
 
A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. In her small Wisconsin hometown she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is seventeen shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself admitted into a world of privilege. 
 
And when her husband unexpectedly becomes governor and then president, she discovers that she is married to a man she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with—and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona. As her husband’s presidency enters its second term, Alice must confront contradictions years in the making and face questions nearly impossible to answer.
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book ReviewChicago Tribune • NPR • Rocky Mountain NewsSt. Louis Post-DispatchThe Washington Post Book World
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Street Date:
09/02/2008
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781588367532
ASIN:
B001ANUR5O
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Curtis Sittenfeld. (2008). American Wife: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Curtis Sittenfeld. 2008. American Wife: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Curtis Sittenfeld, American Wife: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2008.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Curtis Sittenfeld. American Wife: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2008.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 03, 2017 08:43:30
Date Updated:
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      • value: America
      • value: parenting
      • value: contemporary fiction
      • value: Fiction
      • value: Saga
      • value: marriage
      • value: love
      • value: American
      • value: Alcoholism
      • value: Death
      • value: Presidents
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      • value: First Ladies
      • value: Historical Fiction
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      • value: Family relationships
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      • value: History
      • value: White House
      • value: Presidency
      • value: abortion
      • value: American Literature
      • value: USA
      • value: 2000s
      • value: fictional biography
      • value: new york times best sellers
      • value: best sellers list new york times
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      • fileAs: Sittenfeld, Curtis
      • bioText: Curtis Sittenfeld is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Prep, The Man of My Dreams, American Wife, Sisterland, and Eligible, and the story collection You Think It, I’ll Say It, which have been translated into thirty languages. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post Magazine, Esquire, and The Best American Short Stories, of which she was the 2020 guest editor. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, and Vanity Fair, and on public radio’s This American Life.
      • name: Curtis Sittenfeld
imprint
Random House
publishDate
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isOwnedByCollections
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title
American Wife
fullDescription
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A gorgeously written novel that weaves class, wealth, race, and fate into a brilliant portrait of a first lady—from the author of Rodham and Eligible

“Terrific . . . an intelligent, bighearted novel about a controversial political dynasty.”—Entertainment Weekly
 
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: TimePeopleEntertainment Weekly
 
A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. In her small Wisconsin hometown she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is seventeen shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself admitted into a world of privilege. 
 
And when her husband unexpectedly becomes governor and then president, she discovers that she is married to a man she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with—and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona. As her husband’s presidency enters its second term, Alice must confront contradictions years in the making and face questions nearly impossible to answer.
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book ReviewChicago Tribune • NPR • Rocky Mountain NewsSt. Louis Post-DispatchThe Washington Post Book World
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: USA Today
      • content: "Sittenfeld boldly imagines the inner life of a first lady...an intimate and daring story...American Wife is a vicarious experience, an up-close portrait of the interior life of a very complicated woman...cinematic."
      • premium: False
      • source: New Yorker
      • content: "The novel, Sittenfeld's most fully realized yet, artfully evokes the painful reverberations of the past."
      • premium: False
      • source: Time Out New York
      • content: "Compelling...enormously sympathetic...Sittenfeld's remarkable gifts as a storyteller draw you back into the fictional world of Alice Blackwell. She writes in the sharp, realistic tradition of Philip Roth and Richard Ford--clear, unpretentious prose; metaphors so spot-on you barely notice them. Sittenfeld may have lifted the set pieces from a real woman's life, but in the process she has created a wise and insightful character who is entirely her own."
      • premium: False
      • source: Washington Post
      • content: "Ambitious...Sittenfeld installs herself deep within the psyche of the tight-lipped wife of the president and emerges with an evenhanded, compassionate look at her mind and heart...powerfully intimate. Grade: A"
      • premium: False
      • source: Radar
      • content: "A masterful highbrow-lowbrow mash-up that satisfies as ass-kicking literary fictionand juicy gossip simultaneously."
      • premium: False
      • source: Ana Marie Cox, The New York Observer
      • content: "With American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld has deftly crossed an extraordinarily high wire...I read American Wife in just two or three delicious sittings, struck by the granular clarity of the author's descriptions and the down-to-earth believability of the story, bewitched by the charming, frustrating woman at the center of it: Laura Bush."
      • premium: False
      • source: St Petersburg Times
      • content: "Curtis Sittenfeld is one of our best contemporary chroniclers of class and caste... Sittenfeld imagines this couple so deliciously and so plausibly... Curtis Sittenfeld invents a deep, messy, sympathetic life for a public person whose surface is all we'll ever know."
      • premium: False
      • source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
      • content: "Immensely readable. It's a nuanced portrait of a woman in a singularly fascinating position."
      • premium: False
      • source: Portland Oregonian
      • content: "A broad, deep and utterly convincing account...a portrait of a woman and a marriage that also brings the reader as close to the probable essence of the outgoing president as any other novelist, or any biographer, is likely to get."
      • premium: False
      • source: Boston Magazine
      • content: "We love Sittenfeld. We love her wry, razor-sharp observations. We love her funny, straightforward honesty...[American Wife] is an empathetic, fascinating, and gorgeously written story about a 30-year marriage. We devoured it in one night."
      • premium: False
      • source: Fredericksburg Freelance Star
      • content: "Endearing and poignant, humorous and enlightening, American Wife is a must-read for Sittenfeld fans--and a good first read for would-be converts."
      • premium: False
      • source: St Louis Post Dispatch
      • content: "An entertaining, racy tale that's inspired more than a bit by the life of our current president's wife, Laura Bush...A well-told tale that will leave many readers wondering: How much of Sittenfeld's story might be closer to fact than fiction?"
      • premium: False
      • source: LA Times
      • content: "The scope and detail of American Wife are reminiscent of Richard Russo. Like Russo, she creates characters from the ground up, ancestry, neighborhood, culture and all."
      • premium: False
      • source: - Dayton Daily News
      • content: "American Wife promises to be another sensation."
      • premium: False
      • source: BookPage
      • content: "American Wife is a sparkling, sprawling novel...A ridiculously gifted writer...Sittenfeld has harnessed her talents perfectly in American Wife, producing an exhilirating epic infused with humor, pain, and hope."
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Sun
      • content: "Widely anticipated and vastly entertaining... An intelligent, well-crafted, psychologically astute novel"
      • premium: False
      • source: Seattle Times
      • content: "Highly engaging...fascinating depth."
      • premium: False
      • source: Boston Globe
      • content: "A well-researched, juicy roman a clef about the current first lady."
      • premium: False
      • source: Good Housekeeping
      • content: "With her first line--"Have I made terrible mistakes?"--Alice Blackwell (a fictional First Lady modeled after Laura Bush) reels us into a gripping epic of public and private lives. A gem."
      • premium: False
      • source: - Redb
      • content: "This searing page-turner will make you wonder what unspoken promises lie behind the victory smiles of any power couple."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 7, 2008
        Sittenfeld tracks, in her uneven third novel, the life of bookish, naïve Alice Lindgren and the trajectory that lands her in the White House as first lady. Charlie Blackwell, her boyishly charming rake of a husband, whose background of Ivy League privilege, penchant for booze and partying, contempt for the news and habit of making flubs when speaking off the cuff, bears more than a passing resemblance to the current president (though the Blackwells hail from Wisconsin, not Texas). Sittenfeld shines early in her portrayal of Alice's coming-of-age in Riley, Wis., living with her parents and her mildly eccentric grandmother. A car accident in her teens results in the death of her first crush, which haunts Alice even as she later falls for Charlie and becomes overwhelmed by his family's private summer compound and exclusive country club membership. Once the author leaves the realm of pure fiction, however, and has the first couple deal with his being ostracized as a president who favors an increasingly unpopular war, the book quickly loses its panache and sputters to a weak conclusion that doesn't live up to the fine storytelling that precedes it.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from July 1, 2008
        In her boldthird novel, the author of the best-sellingPrep (2005) presents a fictional portrait ofFirst Lady Laura Bush, although she changes someimportantdetails.In a memoir told entirely in the first person, Alice Blackwellrelays her unlikely ascent to the White House from her humble Wisconsin beginnings. Sheconveys in convincing, thoroughly riveting detail a life far more complicated than it appears on the surfacethe moment she discovered that her beloved grandmother was a lesbian; a tragic, life-changing car accident she hadas a teenager; the friendship she willingly sacrificed with her best friend when she started dating thegood-humored, athletic Charlie Blackwell; and her uncomfortable initiation into the tight-knit, immensely wealthyBlackwell family, run with unflappable authority byits formidable matriarch. No one is more surprised than Alice when her hard-drinking, sports-team-owning husband morphs into a born-again Christian with political ambitions. Suddenly, Alices life is no longer her own as her every move is parsed for its political implications. Sittenfeld is sure to come under fire for presuming to so methodically blur the lines between fiction and reality and fortimingher novels publication to an election year for maximumpublicity. Yetwhat she does here, in prose as winning as it is confident, isto craft out of the first-person narrationa compelling, very human voice, one full of kindness anddecency. And, as if making the Bush-like coupleentirely sympathetic is not enough of a feat in itself, she also providesmany rich insights into the emotional ebb and flow of a long-term marriage.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A gorgeously written novel that weaves class, wealth, race, and fate into a brilliant portrait of a first lady—from the author of Rodham and Eligible

“Terrific . . . an intelligent, bighearted novel about a controversial political dynasty.”—Entertainment Weekly
 
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: TimePeopleEntertainment Weekly
 
A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. In her small Wisconsin hometown she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is seventeen shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself...
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