“What does it mean to be a good citizen? A good member of a family? In A Good American, George considers both questions with humor, compassion, and grace. A beautifully written novel, laced with history and music.” —Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
- A Library Journal Best Book of the Year
- Named one of the Best Books of 2012 by Bookpage Magazine
- #1 Pick for Indie Next List, February 2012.
- Amazon “Best Books of the Month” List February 2012
- Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, Spring 2012
- Barnes & Noble Top Staff Pick for Fiction, February 2012
- Midwest Connection Pick, February 2012
- #1 “Title to Pick Up Now” for O Magazine, February 2012
- “Top 2012 Summer Read” for NPR’s Morning Edition
- Costco Buyer’s Pick, February 2013
Here’s a short movie about the book. (I know it says the thing can’t be played but if you click the link, you’ll go to the website.)
A Good American is a story of immigrant hope.
Set in a fictional Midwestern town and spanning more than a century, the novel tells the story of three generations of the Meisenheimer family. Beginning with an improbable love affair ignited by the power of song, the story follows an unorthodox young couple as they flee to America in search of a new life together. Their new home, Beatrice, Missouri, is filled with unforgettable characters: a jazz trumpeter from the Big Easy who cooks a mean gumbo, a teenage boy trapped in the body of a giant, a pretty schoolteacher who teaches more than just music, a minister who believes he has witnessed the second coming of Christ, and a malevolent, bicycle-riding dwarf.
From bare-knuckle prizefighting and Prohibition to sweet barbershop harmonies and the Kennedy assassination, and beyond, the family is caught up in the sweep of history. Each new generation discovers afresh what it means to be an American, and in the process they sometimes finds out more about themselves than they had bargained for.
Poignant, funny, and heartbreaking, A Good American is a novel about being an outsider – in your country, in your hometown, and sometimes in your own family. It is a universal story about the families we create and places we call home.
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