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American Woman

Susan Choi's first novel, "The Foreign Student, was published to remarkable critical acclaim. The "New Yorker called it "an auspicious debut," and the "Los Angeles Times touted it as "a novel of extraordinary sensibility and transforming strangeness," naming it one of the ten best books of the year. "American Woman, this gifted writer's second book, is a novel of even greater scope and dramatic complexity, about a young Japanese-American radical caught in the militant underground of the mid-1970s.

When 25-year-old Jenny Shimada steps out of the Rhinecliff train station in New York's Hudson Valley, the last person she expects to see is Rob Frazer, a shadowy figure from her previous life. On the lam for an act of violence against the American government, Jenny agrees to take on the job of caring for three younger fugitives whom Frazer has spirited out of California. One of them, the granddaughter of a wealthy newspaper magnate in San Francisco, has become a national celebrity. Kidnapped by a homegrown revolutionary group, Pauline shocked America when she embraced her captors' ideology, denouncing family and class to enlist in their radical cell.

"American Woman unfolds the story of Jenny and her charges -- Pauline, Juan, and Yvonne, the remains of the busted revolutionary cadre -- as they pursue their destinies from an old farmhouse in upstate New York back to California. Provocative, suspenseful, and often wickedly comic, the novel explores the psychology of the young radicals -- outsiders all -- as isolation and paranoia inevitably undermine their ideals. "American Woman is a tour de force with chilling resonance for readers today.

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"Enthralling." -- Publishers Weekly "A brilliant read . astonishing in its honesty and confidence AMERICAN WOMAN is a haunting book." -- Denver Post "Brilliant . Choi's insightful understanding, vivid description, lyrical use of language and deft dialogue make it an overall reading pleasure." -- Oregonian "Prepare to be held hostage by Susan Choi's mesmerizing AMERICAN WOMAN."--Vanity Fair "Intellectually provocative and vividly imagined."--Kirkus Reviews "Enthralling."--Publishers Weekly "With uncompromising grace and mastery, Susan Choi renders the intimate moments which bring to life a tale of prodigious sweep."--Jhumpa Lahiri* "Historical sweep and startling particular shrewdness ... Choi has written a fascinating portrait of dangerous fragility."--New York Times "Brilliant ... Choi's insightful understanding, vivid description, lyrical use of language and deft dialogue make it an overall reading pleasure."--Oregonian "Deeply impressive: confident, historically astute, psychologically persuasive ... beautiful and disturbing... a work of real achievement."--Jennifer Egan, Nation "A brilliant read ... astonishing in its honesty and confidence AMERICAN WOMAN is a haunting book."--Denver Post "AMERICAN WOMAN with its historical acuity and sprawling interior intimacy further confirms that Susan Choi is a writer of scope, ambition and undeniable talent."--San Francisco Chronicle "In the manner of Don DeLillo's Libra or Joyce Carol Oates in Black Water...[Choi] takes us straight into one of the strangest segments of our ever surreal American dream life."--Sven Birkerts, New York Times Book Review "Extraordinary generosity and grace .... the author, perhaps as successfully and as powerfully as anyone has, makes us understand how it felt, what it was like ...[an] assured, accomplished work."--San Diego Union-Tribune "Masterfully plotted ....AMERICAN WOMAN is that rarest of creations, a political novel that gives equal weight to its characters' inner and outer lives."--Laura Miller, Salon "Susan Choi in this second novel proves herself a natural--a writer whose intelligence and historical awareness effortlessly serve a breathtaking narrative ability. I couldn't put American Woman down, and wanted when I finished it to do nothing but read it again."--Joan Didion "An amazing sense of control ...[and] a compelling exactness...fantasy confronts fantasy in the confusion that gives rise to love, to hatred, to politics. And to gunshots."--Jay Cantor, Los Angeles Times "[AMERICAN WOMAN] takes a hard-eyed look at American idealism, and yet its imaginative abundance its fascination with self invention and its portrayal of the landscape as a living, breathing presence provide a quintessentially American sense of possibility."--The New Yorker "Few writers since Graham Greene have brought such tender, insightful, poetic, intelligent, darkly comic writing to the political thriller."--Francisco Goldman "Enthralling, it is Choi's skill at getting inside the heads of her protagonists that gives the novel its particular, unsettling appeal [and] ... grainy psychological depth and texture."--Publishers Weekly "A hypnotic, winding route through the scorched emotional landscape of 1974 ... Choi's prose radiates intelligence as she traces circles around Jenny and Pauline - near enough that you can feel their warmth, but not so close that you'd ever nail them down."--Joy Press, Village Voice "Riveting ... Choi has the rare gift of bringing such notorious moments of history back to life and making them altogether new."--Vogue "What I find so genuinely exhilarating about Choi's project is her old-fashioned intrepidness, her desire to plunder history without apology in order to recover its heart."--Minna Proctor, BookForum "An artful, insightful meditation on the radical impulse ... Jenny's wrenching struggle to come to terms with what she's done makes the book resonate with compassion and regret .... [AMERICAN WOMAN] is a complex and layered work."--Dan Cryer, Newsday

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