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The American People: Volume 1

The American People: Volume 1

Search for My Heart: A Novel

Larry Kramer

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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The long-awaited new novel by America's master playwright and activist—a radical reimagining of our history and our hopes and fears

Forty years in the making, The American People embodies Larry Kramer's vision of his beloved and accursed homeland. As the founder of ACT UP and the author of Faggots and The Normal Heart, Kramer has decisively affected American lives and letters. Here, as only he can, he tells the heartbreaking and heroic story of one nation under a plague, contaminated by greed, hate, and disease yet host to transcendent acts of courage and kindness.

In this magisterial novel's sweeping first volume, which runs up to the 1950s, we meet prehistoric monkeys who spread a peculiar virus, a Native American shaman whose sexual explorations mutate into occult visions, and early English settlers who live as loving same-sex couples only to fall victim to the forces of bigotry. George Washington and Alexander Hamilton revel in unexpected intimacies, and John Wilkes Booth's motives for assassinating Abraham Lincoln are thoroughly revised. In the twentieth century, the nightmare of history deepens as a religious sect conspires with eugenicists, McCarthyites, and Ivy Leaguers to exterminate homosexuals, and the AIDS virus begins to spread. Against all this, Kramer sets the tender story of a middle-class family outside Washington, D.C., trying to get along in the darkest of times.

The American People is a work of ribald satire, prophetic anger, and dazzling imagination. It is a… More…

The long-awaited new novel by America's master playwright and activist—a radical reimagining of our history and our hopes and fears

Forty years in the making, The American People embodies Larry Kramer's vision of his beloved and accursed homeland. As the founder of ACT UP and the author of Faggots and The Normal Heart, Kramer has decisively affected American lives and letters. Here, as only he can, he tells the heartbreaking and heroic story of one nation under a plague, contaminated by greed, hate, and disease yet host to transcendent acts of courage and kindness.

In this magisterial novel's sweeping first volume, which runs up to the 1950s, we meet prehistoric monkeys who spread a peculiar virus, a Native American shaman whose sexual explorations mutate into occult visions, and early English settlers who live as loving same-sex couples only to fall victim to the forces of bigotry. George Washington and Alexander Hamilton revel in unexpected intimacies, and John Wilkes Booth's motives for assassinating Abraham Lincoln are thoroughly revised. In the twentieth century, the nightmare of history deepens as a religious sect conspires with eugenicists, McCarthyites, and Ivy Leaguers to exterminate homosexuals, and the AIDS virus begins to spread. Against all this, Kramer sets the tender story of a middle-class family outside Washington, D.C., trying to get along in the darkest of times.

The American People is a work of ribald satire, prophetic anger, and dazzling imagination. It is an encyclopedic indictment written with outrageous love.

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Fred Lemish is preparing to finish his history of The American People. He sits in his apartment with its lovely view of Washington Square, in New York City, his and Edward's new dog, Charley, the cairn...

Praise for The American People: Volume 1

“Breathtakingly well-written. And how could one not keep reading, no matter how endless, a book with a line such as ‘You don't just drop a penis like Tibby's into the narrative and let it go'?” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Kramer is a singular force, furious because he cares. He honestly confronts hard, unspoken truths and goes somewhere with them, which is a rare thing.” —T Fleischmann, Publishers Weekly (boxed, signature review)

“Larry Kramer is one of America's most valuable troublemakers. I hope he never lowers his voice.” —Susan Sontag

“Larry Kramer has been a prophet of psychic health and catastrophe among us--a prophet unmatched for the accuracy of his omens and the reliability of his anathemas and remedies.” —The American Academy of Arts and Letters

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Reviews from Goodreads

Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer is an award-winning playwright and author, and a celebrated public health and gay rights advocate. He wrote the Academy Award–nominated screenplay adaptation of D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love and rose to further prominence with his bestselling novel Faggots. A pioneering AIDS activist, he cofounded the Gay Men's Health Crisis in 1982 and founded ACT UP in 1987. Kramer has won numerous awards for his plays and received the 2013 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a Master American Dramatist.

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Larry Kramer

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