(University of New Orleans Press, 2022)
In the fall of 1969, on Sunset Boulevard, a giant billboard advertised the newly released album, Abbey Road. Shortly after it appeared, Paul McCartney's head was cut off the display, mysteriously disappearing. Set against that backdrop, Rejoice the Head of Paul McCartney is about more than a specific incident or snapshot of history, it is a story of people and a generation being shaped by their times. Through its ensemble cast, we see how that moment of desecrating the symbol of an era affects the lives of the characters over the course of several decades. Some characters are drawn to confronting the challenges, while others are trying to escape them. But all are affected by the specter of the missing Paul McCartney head. Written in a series of suites, the novel weaves a recurring collection of characters that range from a young couple trying to make their place in an unsteady world, to a student who mistakenly is assumed to be a domestic terrorist, to a battered couple who won't leave a guest room, to a movie legend and his aspiring acting son. As in life, the narratives of all the characters intrude on and interrupt each other's efforts to negotiate the end of a tumultuous decade, while trying to find their ways in the years that follow. Told in a variety of voices and styles, Rejoice the Head of Paul McCartney is about finding solace and hope during times that seem short on hope.
"Sophisticated, subtle, nuanced, and very moving." ―Rick Moody
"Fierce and true, his fiction is unforgettable." ―Claire Messud
"A moving, illuminating, relevant book." ―Joanna Scott
“I’ve now read all of Adam Braver’s books, and this might be the best. And that’s saying a lot, since I’ve long thought he’s one of the finest writers in the country, an artist who time after time notices what the rest of us miss.”
A novel of two strangers swept up in the aftermath of two politicized acts of violence. THE DISAPPEARED traces a pair of survivors: a woman whose husband is missing in a San Bernardino-type of attack, and a man who believes his sister was an unidentified victim of the '93 World Trade Center bombing. With a remarkable mix of nuance and momentum, Braver portrays their post-trauma experience in the face of relentless public feedback.
"Adam Braver’s vivid characters move through a haunted landscape―the world forever changed by terror―that has become all too familiar to many of us. This compelling and elegantly written novel charts the intersections of individual and collective grief, unfolding in unexpected ways. It is both profoundly personal and smartly political, a memorable page turner with urgent, resonant themes." ― Alix Ohlin, author of Signs and Wonder
"Braver’s novel is rich and humane, a tightly controlled, beautifully orchestrated portrait of contemporary terrors and the feedback loops of fear and paranoia they create that mesmerize us and, tragically, sometimes drive us mad. There are those that disappear in the violence, and those that disappear searching for them in their wakes, trying to make sense of insanity." ― Paul Harding, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
(Tin House Books, 2014)
Melding facts with fiction, Misfit is a fascinating exploration of the many personas of Marilyn Monroe.Marilyn Monroe is one of the most iconic figures in the history of Hollywood, and her legendary work on the big screen is eclipsed only perhaps by the lengend of her life off it. Adam Braver’s Misfit centers on the last weekend of Monroe’s life, which she spent at Frank Sinatra’s resort, the Cal Neva Lodge, in Lake Tahoe. Melding facts with fiction, Braver takes moments throughout Monroe’s life―her childhood, her marriages with Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, her studies with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio, and her role in The Misfits, the film Miller wrote for her―and explores how they informed her tragic end.
"Seamlessly blending fact and fiction, Braver penetrates the vivacious veneer of Monroe's on-screen persona to reveal a woman so adept at embodying a role, that 'it swallows her whole.' Through his gradual unfolding of Monroe's painful upbringing and her desire to be taken seriously in a world that values the superficial, Braver makes Monroe's tragic end freshly poignant." —Publishers Weekly
"To some extent, it's about the details, obviously the result of painstaking research, but crafted as only a great fiction writer can pull off through a seamless application of imagination to fact."
—San Francisco Chronicle
(Tin House Books, 2012)
November 22, 1963 chronicles the day of John F. Kennedy's assassination and explores the intersection of stories and memories and how they represent and mythologize that defining moment in history.Jackie's story is interwoven with the stories of real people intimately connected with that day: a man who shares cigarettes with Jackie outside the trauma room; a motorcycle policeman flanking the motorcade; Abe Zapruder, who caught the assassination on film; the White House servants waiting for Jackie to return; and the morticians overseeing President Kennedy’s autopsy.
“Braver is a terrific writer, an observer of the most acute details; throughout the book, he traces the subtle interactions of his characters as they collide and move apart . . . It's a risky choice, but it pays off because, 45 years later, the only way to see this story afresh may be to observe it on purely human terms.”
--Los Angeles Times
(William Morrow, 2006)
Driving home at dusk, Claire Andrews, an art history professor at a prestigious New England university, accidentally strikes and kills a boy who darts into the path of her car. She is immediately cleared of blame but is nonetheless left psychologically devastated. Haunted by the accident's consequences, Claire also wrestles with her study of one of Vincent van Gogh's final paintings, Crows over the Wheatfield, and its mysterious relationship to the great artist's untimely death.Claire has been writing the definitive book on the connection between the artist's late paintings and his deteriorating mental condition before his suicide. She has uncovered evidence that the painter's death may not have been as it seems and that someone close to van Gogh may have pushed the fragile painter to take his own life. Adam Braver, one of our finest young novelists, beautifully juxtaposes past and present in this remarkable story of art, tragedy, and redemption.
"I'm always happy with an epiphany and a real sense of place, both of which author Adam Braver provides in spades. Throw in science, forgery, manipulation and transition, and end it well, and the result is a very satisfactory read. There's always too much to read, tottering towers of galleys and finished books around my desk, all screaming for attention. Finishing a book is sometimes the exception; racing to the end is the reward."--KQED, San Francisco
(William Morrow, 2004)
Divine Sarah explores a particular moment in the life of the great, early 20th-century actress Sarah Bernhardt. Set during a week in 1906 Los Angeles, the novel evolves around a boycott that is being waged by the League of Decency to prevent Sarah from performing there. She is forced to move her latest production from Los Angeles to the new developments of Venice Beach. And though this is only her most recent skirmish, the 61-year-old Sarah is exhausted and beginning to lose the will to fight. Adam Braver not only gives us an unforgettable Sarah Bernhardt, but he probes the depths of artistry and what happens when it begins to do battle with itself.
"Readers interested in the wars between life and art, art and commerce, inspiration and age, should be captivated by Adam Braver's novel. The fateful moment when enthusiasm (if only momentarily) deserts us is the focus of this author's concern. And, of course, that fateful moment haunts us all."--Carolyn See, Washington Post
(William Morrow, 2003)
Across a rich canvas of truth and imagination, Mr. Lincoln's Wars reveals the president in his darkest hours within the White House walls. We see Lincoln as he explores the meaning of loss through a chance encounter with the father of a slain soldier. And a goodhearted young Union soldier is quickly turned into a killer in the name of President Lincoln. Finally, there is the assassination and the autopsy, as seen through the eyes of John Wilkes Booth, Mary Lincoln, the assistant surgeon general, and one of Lincoln's closest friends.Brilliant in its depiction of the country during the waning days of the war, the book is an insightful and moving exploration of the myth of celebrity and the passions it arouses. More than anything, however, Mr. Lincoln's Wars introduces a talented new writer whose storytelling ability knows no bounds.
"Braver's dissection of Lincoln's enduring shadow is no less pungent, and, at times, brilliant and heroic. 'Mr. Lincoln's Wars' is, by turns, profane, erotic, gory, blunt and obsessed with the workings and -- in the various battlefield, hospital and assassination scenes -- the undoing of the human body."--LA Times Book Review
(Feniks Kitap, 2014)
(Sonatine, 2008 ; Le livre Poche, 2008)
(Village Books, 2008)
"Elle est restée inoubliable et inoubliée, indépassable et indépassée : sa beauté lumineuse doublée d’une intelligence pétillante et les répercussions sans fin de sa trop courte carrière en témoignent encore, plus de 50 ans après son décès, comme le racontait récemment Adam Braver dans Misfit, une biographie romancée de l’actrice à nulle autre pareille” -- Lui
"Adam Braver nous fait revivre l'épopée de la brève existence de l'icône d'Hollywood.--ActuaLitté
"Adam Braver livre ici une image de Marilyn Monroe bien loin du glamour qui lui collait à la peau. Il insiste sur l'univers impitoyable et destructeur d'Hollywood auquel s'est confrontée l'actrice, pourtant si vulnérable." -- Closer
"Et le roman n’en a que plus de force, avec en apothéose la postface, briseuse de mythe, portant sur l’étoile éteinte une lumière crue et sans fard, impitoyable, quand le reflet fabriqué dans le miroir a disparu, quand l’icône a explosé en vol et qu’il ne reste plus qu’un corps abîmé sans âme et sans états d’âmes qu’on tente de rendre présentable, une enveloppe charnelle désormais vide et creuse, manipulée, observée et scrutée à froid, comme elle l’était à chaud, de son vivant, pour le plus grand malheur de celle qui tentait d’exister à l’intérieur…" La Ruelle Bleue
"Dans Misfit, Adam Braver plonge le lecteur dans le dernier week-end avant sa mort. " Le Figaro
NOVEMBER 22, 1963
Reviews from France:
(University of New Orleans Press, 2022)
When Jewher Ilham's father, Ilham Tohti, an internationally known advocate for peaceful dialogue between his Uyghur people and Han Chinese, was detained at the Beijing airport in February 2013 on charges of "separatism," and later sentenced to life in prison, Jewher was forced to begin a new life apart from her family in a new country. There, she found her voice as an advocate for her father, and for Uyghur people being forced into concentration camps by the Chinese government.
In Because I Have To: The Path To Survival, The Uyghur Struggle, Jewher shares an intimate account of how she maintained the strength and courage to fight for her father, the sometimes emotional toll it took on her, and the inspiration and loss of her mentor. With the inclusion of testimonials of Uyghur camp survivors and others affected by the crackdown on Uyghurs in China, Because I Have To:The Path to Survival, The Uyghur Struggle tells the story of one person, and of an entire culture under threat.
(University of New Orleans Press, 2019)
Maryam Rafiee was only a teenager when her father, Hossein Rafiee, was first imprisoned in Iran for expressing his political views. Unable to see or speak to him, she wrote him letters that she could never send. She recorded the things she wished she could tell him: thoughts on school, home, the family's struggle to free him, and—most importantly—her own hopes and dreams. Fifteen years later, in the wake of her father's second imprisonment, Maryam offers these letters to the world, to reveal the suffering undergone by prisoners of conscience and their families. Her story is one of hope, courage, and love in the face of tyranny.
(University of New Orleans Press, 2017)
What would you do to protect your freedom? Would you risk your reputation? Undergo interrogation, detainment, and abuse? Would you continue even when your friends and colleagues started going missing? Continue despite the threats? Would you leave everything behind, leave the only home you've ever known, before silencing yourself? In We Are Syrians, Naila Al-Atrash, Radwan Ziadeh, and Sana Mustafa share their harrowing accounts about working to protect freedom of expression under an authoritarian government. While these are individual stories of courage and defiance edited by Adam Braver and Abby DeVeuve, together they tell the larger story of the Syrian conflict and the conditions that brought about the worst humanitarian crisis in recent history.
"Compelling narratives that reveal a grave disillusionment with the world's responses to the Syrian crisis." -- Kirkus Reviews
(University of New Orleans Press, 2015)
When Jewher Ilham's father, Ilham Toti, was detained at the Beijing airport in February 2013 on charges of "separatism," Jewher had two choices: she could stay in China or fly to America alone. Jewher boarded the plane for Indiana and began a new life apart from her family and was half a world away when her father was sentenced to life in prison.
Through a series of interviews with novelist Adam Braver and scholar Ashley Barton, Jewher recounted her father's nightmare and her own transition from student to eloquent advocate for the Uyghur people. The resulting book, Jewher Ilham: A Uyghur's Fight to Free Her Father , is an intimate, exclusive portrait that U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown calls "proof that Jewher and her people will not be silenced."
(University of New Orleans Press, 2013)
In 2003, Normando Hernández González was among seventy-five Cuban journalists arrested in the "Black Spring." They were tried and sentenced to Cuba's harshest prisons. In 2011, Adam Braver and Molly Gessford met with the recently released and exiled González in Madrid. In his own words, this is the story of how far one man would go to maintain his human rights and how far others would go to stop him.