SHORT CENTURY by David Burr Gerrard

Short Century—Cover.jpg
Short Century—Cover.jpg

SHORT CENTURY by David Burr Gerrard


~84,000 words
Rare Bird Books

Read reviews on Goodreads & Amazon

When a mysterious blogger reveals renowned pro-war journalist Arthur Hunt’s long-ago incestuous affair with his smart but impressionable younger sister, Emily, Arthur writes a memoir in defense of his life, coming to terms with his shattered sense of self, his skewed political ideals, and the crumbling American empire he has been struggling to uphold. An angry but eloquent narrator in the tradition of Philip Roth and Thomas Bernhard, Arthur recounts his relationship with Emily, weaving in his claustrophobic WASP childhood, his '60s student radical days at Yale, and his vociferous support for America’s war in Iraq and its continuing drone campaign.

Capturing the tumult of recent American history, Short Century is filled with supporting characters as memorable as Arthur— including Miranda, his mercurial college girlfriend; Jersey Rothstein, the charismatic free-love guru for whom Miranda leaves Arthur; their son Jason, who signs up to serve in Iraq, where he is killed; their daughter Sydney, who follows Arthur into pro-war punditry; and their daughter Daisy, who chooses to wear a burqa. With a broad historical scope but an intimate personal focus, this is a novel about America, family, and how the desire for freedom is often entangled with darker impulses.

"David Burr Gerrard's Short Century is one of the smartest, wittiest and most original novels I've read in a long time. With a dark humor reminiscent of Evelyn Waugh and Kingsley Amis and a playful intellectual energy all its own—as well as a surprisingly touching human story at its center—this deft, clever and thoroughly well-written book is riveting and a pleasure to read." — Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P

"David Burr Gerrard's masterfully woven debut novel...takes the reader from discussions of war, journalism, and their agencies into a metaphysical, almost Nabokovian intrigue." — Matthew DaddonaThe Los Angeles Review of Books

"Short Century is the gutsy debut novel from one of our most compelling new voices. Difficult to put down. Impossible to forget." — Julian Tepper, author of Balls

"In this audacious, ferociously funny novel, David Burr Gerrard shows us how easily our idealism and dearly held loyalties can lead us to dark places and even darker appetites. He creates an anti-hero who is both a tribute to and a take-down of Philip Roth's fictional creations and an embodiment of the unfulfilled promises of the American political and cultural scene. Subversive yet full of feeling, wicked yet somehow big-hearted, Short Century seems to balance on the edge of a knife." — Amy Grace Loyd, author of The Affairs of Others

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