Did you know that, prior to her extraordinary literary successes, first with the award-winning Harbor, and now with The Room and the Chair, Lorraine Adams investigated international terrorism? Before she turned to fiction, Adams worked as a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Washington Post, and she’s mined her newsroom experience to bring readers a thrilling new novel that Colum McCann calls “a tough, fast and beautiful read.” Joshua Hammer at The New York Times Book Review is enthralled as well, calling the book “A Syriana-type yarn . . . A wild and often fascinating ride.”
An astonishingly original new novel by the award-winning author of Harbor, The Room and the Chair moves from a newsroom in the American capital to a cockpit over Afghanistan, from an Iranian cemetery to a military intelligence office in suburban Washington, as it explores a world of entwined conflicts and the way narratives about violence are told, twisted, hidden, or forgotten.
Here are fine-drawn, empathetic portraits of the often overlooked actors of America’s infinite global war: the ridiculed night editor of a prestigious newspaper, an overburdened nuclear engineer, a duty-bound female fighter pilot, a religiously impassioned novice reporter, a sergeant major thrust into the responsibilities of a secretive command. Their longings and loyalties take us, in the course of one shattering year, from a forested city park where child whores set up business to a Dubai hotel where a desperate man tries to disappear, from the nighttime corridors of Walter Reed Hospital to the snow-thickened mountains of the Hindu Kush.
Told in language as stunning for its beauty as for its verisimilitude, The Room and the Chair dazzlingly bends the conventions of literary suspense to create an unforgettable, groundbreaking chronicle of today’s dangerous world.