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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.
Published: Scribner on
ISBN: 9781439168738
List price: $11.99
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Quite an unusual literary collage of sorts. Inappropriate to categorize as an authentic fictional biography of Pat Nixon because the primary focus appears to be the elephant in the "book" referred to as RN, and Ann Beattie's incessant professorial banter not only heavily spiced with a vast array of literary devices, but also replete with accompanying morsels."...Salesclerk, Lyrical Ballad Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., July2007: Some Life magazines, huh? Look at that Tricia Nixon Cox, on the cover, in her bridal dress! You know, I saw Mrs. Nixon once, in Washington. At the Kennedy Center. She was so thin. (Long pause.) It wasn't her fault..." - page 205Most intriguing comment by Mrs. Nixon is very telling, "...All writing is about altering time...you erase yourself every time you write..."more

Reviews

Quite an unusual literary collage of sorts. Inappropriate to categorize as an authentic fictional biography of Pat Nixon because the primary focus appears to be the elephant in the "book" referred to as RN, and Ann Beattie's incessant professorial banter not only heavily spiced with a vast array of literary devices, but also replete with accompanying morsels."...Salesclerk, Lyrical Ballad Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., July2007: Some Life magazines, huh? Look at that Tricia Nixon Cox, on the cover, in her bridal dress! You know, I saw Mrs. Nixon once, in Washington. At the Kennedy Center. She was so thin. (Long pause.) It wasn't her fault..." - page 205Most intriguing comment by Mrs. Nixon is very telling, "...All writing is about altering time...you erase yourself every time you write..."more
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