I think of writing anything, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, as almost like writing a piece of music. You have to hit the pitch correctly. Part of the very beginning of something is finding what those first sounds will be. And that helps guide you through the rest of it, whatever it is.
Somewhere amidst murder, kinky sex, and Harry’s budding relationships with a collection of random strangers, is a nested story about impeached President Richard Nixon. Homes’s satire on the troubled history of the American Presidency not only adds a layer of complexity to Harry’s character, it also raises questions about our ignorance of American institutions of government. But, as with the rest of the novel, she administers this medicine with a dose of scintillating humor. For instance, in Harry’s theory of Presidential politics, there are two types of Presidents: one type has a lot of sex and the other type starts wars. In short, says Harry, and ‘don’t quote me because this is an incomplete expression of a more complex premise — I believe blow jobs prevent wars.’
Lisa E. Sanchez reviews A.M. Homes’s new novel.