Monday, February 16, 2009

New in Paperback from Russell Banks

Just out in paperback is Russell Banks' novel The Reserve. The novel, a powerful commentary on class structure in America, takes place in the 1930s, on the cusp of the Second World War. "The Reserve" refers to a membership-only private preserve in the Adirondack wilderness. One of the major characters in the book, Jordan Groves, is loosely based on real-life artist Rockwell Kent, a radical leftist in the 1930s who was also one of the most successful and famous artists in America -- and equally well known as a world-traveler, adventurer, and philanderer. The book explores the moral and political implications of the inherent conflict between an artist's radical politics and his social and financial alliance with the very class his politics attack. Both a love story and a murder mystery, The Reserve raises questions about class, politics, art, love, and madness while exploring what happens when two powerful personalities -- trapped at opposite ends of a social divide -- begin to break the rules. Banks is the author of several books, including The Sweet Hereafter, Cloudsplitter, Rule of the Bone, Continental Drift, and The Darling.

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