A searing novel about memory, abandonment, and betrayal from the acclaimed and bestselling Russell Banks At the center of Foregone is famed Canadian American leftist documentary filmmaker Leonard Fife, one of sixty thousand draft evaders and deserters who fled to Canada to avoid serving in Vietnam. Fife, now in his late seventies, is dying of cancer in Montreal and has agreed to a final interview in which he is determined to bare all his secrets at last, to demythologize his mythologized life. The interview is filmed by his acolyte and ex-star student, Malcolm MacLeod, in the presence of Fife''s wife and alongside Malcolm''s producer, cinematographer, and sound technician, all of whom have long admired Fife but who must now absorb the meaning of his astonishing, dark confession. Imaginatively structured around Fife''s secret memories and alternating between the experiences of the characters who are filming his confession, the novel challenges our assumptions and understanding about a significant lost chapter in American history and the nature of memory itself. Russell Banks gives us a daring and resonant work about the scope of one man''s mysterious life, revealed through the fragments of his recovered past.
Banks s narrative seductively juxtaposes rambles through lush volcanic mountains, white sand beaches and coral reefs with a barrage of memories of the hash he s made of his private life. The New York Times Book Review Now in his mid-seventies, Russell Banks has indulged his wanderlust for more than half a century. This longing for escape has taken him from the bright green islands and turquoise seas of the Caribbean islands to peaks in the Himalayas, the Andes, and beyond.
In each of these remarkable essays, Banks considers his life and the world. In Everglades National Park this perfect place to time-travel, he traces his own timeline. Recalling his trips to the Caribbean in the title essay, Voyager, Banks dissects his relationships with the four women who would become his wives. In the Himalayas, he embarks on a different quest of self-discovery. One climbs a mountain not to conquer it, but to be lifted like this away from the earth up into the sky, he explains.
Pensive, frank, beautiful, and engaging, Voyagerbrings together the social, the personal, and the historical, opening a path into the heart and soul of this revered writer.
Suffused with Russell Banks's trademark lyricism and reckless humor, the twelve stories in A Permanent Member of the Family examine the myriad ways we try--and sometimes fail--to connect with one another, as we seek a home in the world. In the title story, a father looks back on the legend of the cherished family dog whose divided loyalties mirrored the fragmenting of his marriage. "A Former Marine" asks, to chilling effect, if one can ever stop being a parent. And in the haunting, evocative "Veronica," a mysterious woman searching for her daughter may not be who she claims she is. Moving between the stark beauty of winter in upstate New York and the seductive heat of Florida, Banks's acute and penetrating collection demonstrates the range and virtuosity of both his narrative prowess and his startlingly panoramic vision of modern American life.