The Travelers

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The Travelers

A Novel

Regina Porter, Bahni Turpin, Dominic Hoffman

$22.50

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Description

“American history comes to vivid, engaging life in this tale of two interconnected families (one white, one black) that spans from the 1950s to Barack Obama’s first year as president. . . . The complex, beautifully drawn characters are unique and indelible.”—Entertainment Weekly

“An astoundingly audacious debut.”—O: The Oprah Magazine • “A gorgeous generational saga.”—New York Post

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ESQUIRE

Meet James Samuel Vincent, an affluent Manhattan attorney who shirks his modest Irish American background but hews to his father’s meandering ways. James muddles through a topsy-turvy relationship with his son, Rufus, which is further complicated when Rufus marries Claudia Christie.

Claudia’s mother—Agnes Miller Christie—is a beautiful African American woman who survives a chance encounter on a Georgia road that propels her into a new life in the Bronx. Soon after, her husband, Eddie Christie, is called to duty on an air craft carrier in Vietnam, where Tom Stoppard’s play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” becomes Eddie’s life anchor, as he grapples with mounting racial tensions on the ship and counts the days until he will see Agnes again.

These unforgettable characters’ lives intersect with a cast of lovers and friends—the unapologetic black lesbian who finds her groove in 1970s Berlin; a moving man stranded in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, during a Thanksgiving storm; two half-brothers who meet as adults in a crayon factory; and a Coney Island waitress whose Prince Charming is too good to be true.

With piercing humor, exacting dialogue, and a beautiful sense of place, Regina Porter’s debut is both an intimate family portrait and a sweeping exploration of what it means to be American today.

LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/HEMINGWAY AWARD FOR DEBUT NOVEL

“[A] kaleidoscopic début . . . Porter deftly skips back and forth through the decades, sometimes summarizing a life in a few paragraphs, sometimes spending pages on one conversation. As one character observes, ‘We move in circles in this life.’” The New Yorker

“In this innovative and deeply moving debut, Regina Porter has mastered the kind of alchemy found in a great painting by Poussin: her canvas is vast, her subject ambitious, yet her execution is so brilliantly devoted to particulars that it creates a miraculous intimacy. The beauty of this book lies in how Porter’s characters, through resilience and community, art and creative love, cut new doors out of the corners they’ve been backed into by history.”—Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You


Author

Regina Porter:
REGINA PORTER is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. She is the recipient of a 2017-2018 Rae Armour West Postgraduate Scholarship. She is also a 2017 Tin House Scholar. Her fiction has been published in the Harvard Review. An award-winning writer with a background in playwriting, Regina has worked with Playwrights Horizons, The Joseph Papp Theater, New York Stage & Film, The Women's Project, Woolly Mammoth Theater, and Horizons Theater Company. She has been anthologized in Plays from Woolly Mammoth by Broadway Play Services, and Heinemann's Scenes For Women by Women. She has also been profiled in Southern Women Playwrights: New Essays in History & Criticism by University of Alabama Press. Regina was born in Savannah, Georgia and lives in Brooklyn.

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