Saturday, January 03, 2009

American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfeld

For a non-bookish Presidency (this is about to change), George W. Bush's administration has generated an enormous amount of literature, much of it of course political (such as Bob Woodward's war analyses), some of it more personal (such as Jacob Weisberg's The Bush Tragedy). One of the most oblique ways into the White House, however, is Curtis Sittenfeld's recent American Wife, a fictionalisation of the life of Laura Bush through the figure of Alice Blackwell.

This is another novel which has a scope and ambition which seem distinctively American. It's a tremendously readable 550 pages, with only a few longueurs. A lot of discussion of the novel has focussed, inevitably but reductively, on the connections with Laura Bush, but there are so many varied pleasures in its sweep that this may be an unsatisfactory and distracting way to approach it.

Sittenfeld's website is here, with plenty of links to interviews and reviews.


1 comment:

Ceska said...

This book served as a tasteful read tackling the issues of what it is like to be an American Wife and the choices she makes in regards to her husband's. It is a book every woman should read in regards to how much the average woman sacrifices for marriage.