Foregone (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Russell Banks

Ecco, 9780063036758, 320pp.

Publication Date: March 2, 2021

List Price: 28.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

A searing novel about memory, abandonment, and betrayal from the acclaimed and bestselling Russell Banks 

At the center of Foregone is famed Canadian American leftist documentary filmmaker Leonard Fife, one of sixty thousand draft evaders and deserters who fled to Canada to avoid serving in Vietnam. Fife, now in his late seventies, is dying of cancer in Montreal and has agreed to a final interview in which he is determined to bare all his secrets at last, to demythologize his mythologized life. The interview is filmed by his acolyte and ex–star student, Malcolm MacLeod, in the presence of Fife’s wife and alongside Malcolm’s producer, cinematographer, and sound technician, all of whom have long admired Fife but who must now absorb the meaning of his astonishing, dark confession.

Imaginatively structured around Fife’s secret memories and alternating between the experiences of the characters who are filming his confession, the novel challenges our assumptions and understanding about a significant lost chapter in American history and the nature of memory itself. Russell Banks gives us a daring and resonant work about the scope of one man’s mysterious life, revealed through the fragments of his recovered past.



About the Author

Russell Banks, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, is one of America’s most prestigious fiction writers, a past president of the International Parliament of Writers, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Common Wealth Award for Literature. He lives in upstate New York and Miami, Florida.

 



Praise For Foregone: A Novel

“Russell Banks, as cinematographer, is known to move in close.  Foregone focuses his sharp eye on the feints and fictions amid life’s ‘facts,’ as he reveals his fascinatingly fallible character, Fife, whose personal life has been contextualized by history.  As we zig-zag through the character’s past and present, it becomes apparent that the writer is simultaneously, and subtly, demonstrating the act of writing fiction.  Fife is aptly named; he’s an instrument piercing the soundtrack we call life, as the drummer marches on.”
— Ann Beattie

"Russell Banks is, word for word, idea for idea, one of the great American novelists. Foregone is a book about not coming to a conclusion.  Banks presents us with a series of mirrors, some of them broken, some of them intact, and all of them wildly reflective of our times.   It is a book about the shifting shapes of memory and the chimerical nature of our lives."  
— Colum McCann