Death Valley

By (author): Susan Perly

Love is complicated. It’s 2006 and Vivienne Pink, a photojournalist with an eye for war, is flying to Las Vegas to capture images of servicemen deploying for combat in Iraq. Together with her novelist husband and their housemate, an intelligence operative, Vivienne plans a side trip to Death Valley to confront an old enemy, but her scheme is soon complicated by a handsome young soldier on his way to war and a retired counterterrorism agent wearing a bird suit. Together they begin an atomic road trip through empty canyons, old film locations and the Nevada desert’s nuclear test site, where reality shifts like sand beneath their feet. This is Death Valley, and the fallout is hilarious and harrowing.

AUTHOR

Susan Perly

Susan Perly is the author of Death Valley, longlisted in 2016 for the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize, and Love Street, told in the voice of late-night DJ Miss Mercy. Her memoir on art and marriage, “Picasso’s Pigeons,” set in Barcelona, appeared in Zone 3 in 2013. A former journalist and radio producer, she broadcast eyewitness reports from Guatemala, El Salvador and Argentina during the Dirty War, and from Baghdad during the Iran-Iraq War. Susan Perly lives in her hometown Toronto with her husband, poet Dennis Lee.


Reviews

“The novel defies genre, mashing up generous helpings of pulp fiction and spaghetti westerns with an abridged history lesson on America’s nuclear heritage…. Hypnotic in its weirdness, Death Valley laments a world that has played host to the Cold War, the atomic bomb, and wars big and small from Vietnam to Iraq.”


– Toronto Star

“Susan Perly’s novel Death Valley takes on a devastated landscape that is simultaneously celebrated and erased in North American consciousness. Her principal characters move through scenery that is the setting for glamorous Hollywood versions of the West and also the site of atomic tests past and present.”


– Canadian Literature

“We encounter strange half-human, half-animal creatures as the group moves through Death Valley hitting up diners, motels, army-restricted areas, ghost towns, and old film locations in a voyage that goes in and out of focus as the perception of time recedes and flows.”


– SubTerrain

“The novel becomes a commentary about the state of the world in which atomic bombs and wars have become commonplace. Thus, the absurdity of the world Perly describes is in fact a lament for the absurdity of the world we live in – a world that has played host to cold wars, world wars and too many other tragedies to count.”


– Winnipeg Review

Awards

  • Scotiabank Giller Prize 2016, Long-listed
  • Excerpts & Samples ×

    Love is complicated. It’s 2006 and Vivienne Pink, a photojournalist with an eye for war, is flying to Las Vegas to capture images of servicemen deploying for combat in Iraq. Together with her novelist husband and their housemate, an intelligence operative, Vivienne plans a side trip to Death Valley to confront an old enemy, but her scheme is soon complicated by a handsome young soldier on his way to war and a retired counterterrorism agent wearing a bird suit. Together they begin an atomic road trip through empty canyons, old film locations and the Nevada desert’s nuclear test site, where reality shifts like sand beneath their feet. This is Death Valley, and the fallout is hilarious and harrowing.

    Reader Reviews

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    Details

    Dimensions:

    312 Pages
    9in * 6in * 0.75in
    450gr

    Published:

    May 03, 2016

    City of Publication:

    Hamilton

    Country of Publication:

    CA

    ISBN:

    9781928088103

    9781928088271 – EPUB

    Book Subjects:

    FICTION / Psychological

    Featured In:

    All Books

    Language:

    eng

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