Halcyon: A novel
A daring new novel, at once timely and timeless, set around an American family and the ever-shifting sands of history and memory and legacy that define them (“An expert juggling act.” —Stephen Markley, New York Times Book Review)
Martin Neumann, recently divorced, is living at Halcyon, the Virginia estate of renowned lawyer, family patriarch, and World War II hero Robert Ableson. It’s 2004, and Gore is entering his second term as president, when news breaks that scientists have discovered a cure for death. Suddenly, Martin is forced to question everything he thought he understood about the world around him. Who is Ableson, really? Why has Martin been drawn into the Ablesons’ most closely guarded family secrets? Is this new science a miraculous good or an insidious evil?
From pivotal elections to crumbling marriages, from the Civil War to the Battle of Saipan, Halcyon is a profound and probing novel that grapples with what history means, who is affected by it, and how the complexities of our shared future rest on the dual foundations of remembering and forgetting.
Praise for Halcyon: A novel
“An expert juggling act . . . Idiosyncratic and engrossing throughout.” —Stephen Markley, New York Times Book Review
“Halcyon is an entertaining thought experiment, and Ackerman writes with a gentle, graceful style . . . Ackerman delivers a potent critique of the what-if nature of talking about history . . . Ackerman, as much as any working novelist today, is invested in getting the facts of war and history right.” —Mark Athitakis, Washington Post
“A blend of counterfactual history and futurism and a way to think about some of our thorniest social and cultural issues today.” —Jeffery Gedmin, American Purpose
“Frightening, funny, and thought-provoking.” —Mark Braude, The Octavian Report
“Ingenious . . . Elliot Ackerman prefers challenging questions over convenient answers, leaving ample room for readers to engage in leaps of imagination as bold as the ones he’s undertaken . . . Blending alternative history with science fiction, Ackerman artfully explores several provocative issues that have become flash points in contemporary America.” —Bookpage
“Thought-provoking . . . Visionary.” —Publishers Weekly
“A novel of ideas in an age of opinions.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A thoughtful and fascinating thought experiment, one that explores mortality, fate, and the malleability of historical memory.” —Booklist