America America (Magill's Literary Annual 2009)
The novel America America begins in 2006. Corey Sifter, a middle-aged newspaper publisher, describes attending the funeral of Henry Bonwiller, eighty-nine, a New York state senator and a resident of the small town of Saline, New York. Sifter recalls thirty-four years earlier when Bonwiller was running for the Democratic nomination for the presidency as “the best friend the working men of this country have ever had”a man who would beat Richard Nixon and bring the troops home from Vietnam. At that time, Sifter was the protégé of Liam Metarey, a wealthy businessman supporting Bonwiller’s bid for the nomination, and he was Bonwiller’s junior aide and driver during the campaign. After the funeral, Sifter, seeing a man kneel and weep at the graveside, recalls his involvement with Metarey and Bonwiller and the death of a young campaign worker that the two men had covered up and in which Sifter, perhaps innocently, played some part.
Sifter is the son of a plumber who sometimes works on Aberdeen West, the estate of Liam Metarey. As he works with his father on a plumbing job on the grounds, his conscientious effort not to injure the roots of an ancient oak that have clogged the underground pipes sparks the admiration of Metarey who offers him a position doing odd jobs on the estate.
Metarey is the descendant of Scottish migrant Eoghan Metarey, a hard-nosed, and sometimes unscrupulous, pioneer who rose from impoverished circumstances...
(The entire section is 1678 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2009)
Booklist 104, no. 17 (May 1, 2008): 4-5.
The Boston Globe, July 13, 2008, p. C6.
Elle 23, no. 11 (July, 2008): 88.
Entertainment Weekly, June 20, 2008, p. 69.
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O, The Oprah Magazine 9, no. 7 (July, 2008): 139-140.
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The Times Literary Supplement, August 1, 2008, p. 20.
USA Today, July 8, 2008, p. 5D.
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(The entire section is 64 words.)