Ron Hansen's deeply affecting new novel opens in winter on the high plains of Colorado, where rancher Atticus Cody receives an unexpected visit from his wayward young son. An artist and wanderer, Scott has recently settled into a life of heavy drinking and recklessness among expatriates and Mexicans in the little town of Resurreccion on the Caribbean coast. Weeks later, Atticus himself goes down to Mexico to recover the body of his son, thinking he has committed suicide. Puzzled by what he finds in Resurreccion, he begins to suspect that Scott has been murdered.
Atticus is the story of a father's fierce love for his son, a love so steadfast and powerful that it bends the impersonal forces of destiny to its own will. As Atticus uncovers the story of his son's death, fitting together the pieces of the mosaic that was Scott's life in Mexico and encountering a group of disturbing characters along the way he suffers a father's grief and rage, but is driven forward in his quest to understand by the even more powerful force of a father's love.
Written in the sensuous prose style of Ron Hansen's earlier works of fiction, Atticus is a suspenseful murder mystery, as vivid and precise in its imagery as the highly acclaimed Mariette in Ecstasy. Illuminating those often obscure chambers of the human heart, Atticus is finally a novel about deeply rooted, almost unfathomable love, a mystery that Ron Hansen's fiction explores with a passion and intensity no reader will be able to resist.
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Ron Hansen is the author of the novels Mariette in Ecstasy, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Desperadoes, and of the short story collection Nebraska, for which he received an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
He is the editor, with Jim Shepard, of the anthology You've Got to Read This: Contemporary American Writers Introduce Stories That Held Them in Awe. He wrote the screenplays for Mariette in Ecstasy and, more recently, Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
A practicing Catholic who attends noon Mass daily, Hansen now lievs in California, where he writes and teaches at the University of Santa Clara.From Publishers Weekly:
Demonstrating masterful versatility, Hansen, whose acclaimed Mariette in Ecstasy probed the spiritual experience?and its physical manisfestation?of a young, cloistered nun in upstate New York, writes here about Atticus Cody, a 67-year-old Colorado cattle man who goes to Mexico to retrieve the body of his younger son, an artist, alcoholic and, finally, a suicide. The story of Atticus, with elements of a murder mystery and a close focus on aspects of character generally considered to be male attributes, resembles Mariette, however, in its exploration of love in a purified and highly potent form. A deeply grieving Atticus meets Scott's friends in the town of Resurreccion and copes with the unknowns of a culture far removed from his ranch, where only recently "carrots of ice were hanging from the roof's iron gutters." As the Cody family history, which includes the death of Atticus's wife (mother of Scott, and his older, successful brother) in a car accident in which Scott was driving, is gradually revealed, Atticus comes to believe that Scott's death may have been at another's hand. Effectively employed contrasts?in setting and in character, especially between honorable, disciplined Atticus and the impulsive Scott and his circle, for whom love and failure seem intertwined?carry the story through its increasingly gripping plot. A few, though central, coincidences are the only improbabilities in a story that is stunning for the credibility of its cast and their actions. $50,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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