Small Beer Press, 9781931520737, 384pp.
Publication Date: August 11, 2015
-A moving lament for lost childhoods and an eloquent tribute to the enduring power of art.---The New York Times
A haunting novel exploring the lives of characters intertwined with The Wizard of Oz the -real- Dorothy Gale; Judy Garland's unhappy fame; and Jonathan, a dying actor, and his therapist, whose work at an asylum unwittingly intersects with the Yellow Brick Road.
Geoff Ryman is the author of The King's Last Song, Air, The Child Garden, The Unconquered Country, and Paradise Tales. He has lived in Cambodia and Brazil, and now teaches at the University of Manchester, England.
Praise For Was…
A startling, stimulating book filled with angels and scarecrows, gargoyles and garlands, vaudeville and violence. Pynchon goes Munchkin, you might say.”
Washington Post Book World
"The Scarecrow of Oz dying of AIDS in Santa Monica? Uncle Henry a child abuser? Dorothy, grown old and crazy, wearing out her last days in a Kansas nursing home? It's all here, in this magically revisionist fantasy on the themes from The Wizard of Oz."
"Ryman's darkly imaginative, almost surreal improvisation on L. Frank Baum's Oz books combines a stunning portrayal of child abuse, Wizard of Oz film lore and a polyphonic meditation on the psychological burden of the past."
"A mediation on art, lies and human pain. None of Ryman's books is quite like any of the othersthis is one of his most straightforward and best"
Roz Kaveneny, Time Out