Eat the Document

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Thorndike Press, 2006 - Fiction - 424 pages
6 Reviews
Dana Spiotta, whom Michiko Kakutani called "wonderfully observant and wonderfully gifted...with an uncanny feel for the absurdities and sadness of contemporary life" "(The New York Times), has written a bold and moving novel about a fugitive radical from the 1970s who has lived in hiding for twenty-five years. "Eat the Document is a hugely compelling story of activism, sacrifice, and the cost of living a secret.

In the heyday of the 1970s underground, Bobby DeSoto and Mary Whittaker -- passionate, idealistic, and in love -- design a series of radical protests against the Vietnam War. When one action goes wrong, the course of their lives is forever changed. The two must erase their past, forge new identities, and never see each other again.

Now it is the 1990s. Mary lives in the suburbs with her fifteen-year-old son, who spends hours immersed in the music of his mother's generation. She has no idea where Bobby is, whether he is alive or dead.

Shifting between the protests in the 1970s and the consequences of those choices in the 1990s, Dana Spiotta deftly explores the connection between the two eras -- their language, technology, music, and activism. Character-driven and brilliant, "Eat the Document is an important and revelatory novel about the culture of rebellion, with particular resonance now.

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User Review  - periwinklejane - LibraryThing

Well worth the read even though I'm not ranking it as a classic or anything. What happens when underground 60's radicals meet wannabe poseur radicals in the 2000's? Lots of thoughts on what it means to protest. Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Two 1970s activists spend decades on the run in Spiotta's antihero odyssey.With her second novel, Spiotta (Lightning Field, 2001) shows what riches can be gleaned from an approach that could at first ... Read full review


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About the author (2006)

Dana Spiotta is the author of "Innocents and Others"; "Stone Arabia", A National Books Critics Circle Award finalist; and "Eat the Document", a finalist for the National Book Award. Spiotta is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize for Literature. She lives in Syracuse, New York.

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