The King of America: A Novel

Random House, 2004 - 213 páginas
The King of Americatraces the short, brilliant life of Stephen Hesse, firstborn son of one of America’s wealthiest, most powerful men—yet Stephen’s distinguished paternal lineage and the great privilege it has conferred on him are at odds with the working-class background of his mother. Ultimately, a scandalous divorce and the replacement of the somber, dark-eyed mother and child with a new family more becoming to Stephen’s father’s political ambition leave the young man an outsider. The sole focus of his abandoned mother, Stephen Hesse grows up lonesome and restless. At Harvard, recovering from a failed love affair, Stephen falls under the sway of a charismatic anthropology professor and, at last, feels a sense of direction and identity. As a scholar, writer, and art collector for his father’s museum, Stephen accompanies his mentor to the impossibly strange and distant world of Netherlands New Guinea, where a Neolithic culture, still practicing its ancient rites of head-hunting, thrives in its last moments before modernity arrives. There Stephen discovers the Asmat bisj poles—terrifying, glorious, towering pieces of carved woodwork honoring tribal ancestors—which he hopes will secure his professional standing and guarantee him a lasting place in his father’s esteem. But his hardheaded insistence on securing the art before the onset of the monsoon season has tragic consequences. Loosely based on the mysterious 1961 disappearance of Michael Rockefeller,The King of Americamoves seamlessly from the bastions of East Coast privilege to the tropical lushness of New Guinea. Samantha Gillison writes with the powers of observation of a naturalist and the assurance of a born novelist. Part love story, part adventure yarn, part family tragedy,The King of Americais an exceptional feat of storytelling.

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Crítica de los usuarios  - mthelibrarian - LibraryThing

Fiction about the 1961 disappearance of Michael Rockefeller. Fictional character: Stephen Hesse Leer comentario completo

The king of America: a novel

Crítica de los usuarios  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Uncertain of his sexuality and enthralled by the writing of anthropologist Claude L vi-Strauss, Stephen Hesse finds meaning in a college teacher's plans for an expedition to New Guinea. Stephen's ... Leer comentario completo


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SAMANTHA GILLISON is the author of The Undiscovered Country, which won a Whiting Fiction Award and was nominated for the Los Angeles Times/Art Seidenbaum First Fiction Award. She received a Guggenheim fellowship to complete The King of America. Gillison lives in New York City.

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