This imagined life is both an exploration of an elusive American icon and also of the fiction writer's art, as practiced by PEN/Malamud Award–winner Ann Beattie. Pat Nixon remains one of our most enigmatic public figures, and the only modern First Lady who never wrote a memoir. Beattie, like many of her generation, dismissed her as a nonentity, though decades later she began to wonder what it must have been like to be married to such a spectacularly ambitious and catastrophically self-destructive man. In reconstructing dozens of historical scenes that attempt to see the world from Mrs. Nixon's point of view, Beattie offers readers a rare glimpse into the imagination of a writer.
"Beattie gives us tantalizing glimpses of Mrs. Nixon, and a fully realized account of fiction, fiction writing, and the fiction writer."—Boston Globe