Tim O’Brien, whose latest novel, a contemporary satire, is “America Fantastica,” in conversation with host Richard Wolinsky, recorded at Book Passage on November 6, 2023.
The author of ten previous novels, winner of the National Book Award in 1978 for Going After Cacciato, and acclaimed for his linked collection of stories about the Vietnam War, The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien took a 20-year break from writing to help raise his late-in-life children. He returned with a non-fiction book about those years, Dad’s Maybe Years, and has now come out with a satirical novel, America Fantastica.
This new book, written before and during the Covid pandemic, focuses on the nature of lying, and how America has fallen into a pandemic of lying. A satire set in California, Texas and Minnesota, and focuses on a former journalist who made a career of lying, and on other assorted liars.
In the interview, Tim O’Brien discusses this new book, and also discusses his feelings about war, about Vietnam, and about being a writer.