Hannah Pittard is the author of four novels, including Visible Empire (a New York Times "New & Noteworthy" selection) and Listen to Me (a New York Times "Editors' Choice"). She is winner of the 2006 Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a consulting editor for Narrative Magazine, and a professor of English at the University of Kentucky, where she directs the MFA program in creative writing.
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Visible Empire: A Novel
An epic novel—based on true events—of love, grief, race, and wealth, charting a single sweltering summer in Atlanta that left no one unchanged
On a humid summer day, the phones begin to ring: disaster has struck. Chateau de Sully, a Boeing 707 chartered to ferry home more than one hundred of Atlanta’s most prominent citizens from a European jaunt, crashed in Paris shortly after takeoff. It is the second-deadliest disaster in the history of aviation. Overnight, the city of Atlanta changes.
Left behind are children, spouses, lovers, and friends faced with renegotiating their lives. Robert, a newspaper editor, must decide if he can reconnect with his beloved but estranged wife, whose swindler parents have left her penniless. Nineteen-year-old Piedmont Dobbs, recently denied admission to an integrated school, senses a moment of uncertain opportunity. And Mayor Ivan Allen is tasked with the job of moving Atlanta forward—the hedonism of the 60s and the urgency of the Civil Rights movement at his city’s doorstep.
Visible Empire is the story of a husband and wife who can’t begin to understand each other until chaos drives them to clarity. It’s a story of the promise and hope that remain in the wake of crisis.
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