From a writer who deserves the attention of anyone in search of today's best fiction* comes an epic novelbased on true eventsof wealth, race, grief, and love, charting one sweltering summer in Atlanta that left no one unchanged (*Washington Post)Its a humid June day when the phones begin to ring in Atlanta: disaster has struck. Air France Flight 007, which had been chartered to ferry home more than one hundred of Atlantas cultural leaders following a luxurious arts-oriented tour of Europe, crashed shortly after takeoff in Paris. In one fell swoop, many of the citys wealthiest residents perished.Left behind were children, spouses, lovers, friends, and a city on the cusp of great change: the Civil Rights movement was at its peak, the hedonism of the 60s was at its doorstep. In Hannah Pittards dazzling and most ambitious novel yet, she gives us the journeys of those who must now rebuild this place and their lives.Visible Empire follows the chaosand hopethat remained in the wake of the cra...
|Number of Pages||:||288 pages|
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Visible Empire Reviews
Thank you to Doubleday and Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book.
I know many people have mixed feelings about fiction based on real life events, but I’m a fan! In Visible Empire, the Orly plane crash is the big event that ties lots of disparate people and perspectives together (and the opening chapters recounting the crash are riveting). The overall book is more a portrait of Atlanta in the 1960’s from all these different perspectives (the Mayor’s wife, family of the crash victims, an Afri ...more
Sorry. Not for me.
As a native Atlantan transplanted to Northern California as an adult, I was eager to read "Visible Empire" set in Atlanta, GA in the immediate aftermath of the Orly airplane crash which tragically killed many local arts patrons in 1962. I was twelve years old when this event occurred and vividly recall my horror at the many children orphaned by this event as well as the beautiful Rodin sculpture gifted by the city of Paris to the city of Atlanta for its High Museum of Art.
Hannah Pittard did a g ...more
I received a digital ARC of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on NetGalley. I’m grateful to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for their generosity and am happy to post this honest review. All opinions are my own.
The foundation of Visible Empire is the 1962 fatal crash of an Air France jet transporting 121 of Atlanta’s art patrons—the wealthy, white, upper-crust of the city. From there, Pittard builds her tale of those left behind—the grieving remainder of the muckety-mucks, the ...more
My only wish is that I had a full day to sit down with a tall glass of iced tea and read this in one sitting. Alas, my life did not allow for such an extravagance, but I'll just have to live with that.
When I first heard about the subject of this novel, I was very interested to see how Pittard would handle a true historical fiction. Her writing is always sharp and deeply emotional, revealing an intimate aspect that I've always thought adds a depth to her books. This book is no different.
Her char ...more
Rounding up from 3.5 - I really enjoyed the first 3/4s of the novel and the panoply of characters Pittard introduces, giving us a swirling view of Atlanta in 1962. But everything starts to feel a bit glancing, especially the politics, and the novel ultimately concludes with a scene of off-screen horror and then a limp wrap-up.
Still, I adore Pittard’s writing and I’m aware that this was a deeply personal novel for her - so, okay, I’m glad I read it.
I first heard about Visible Empire on a podcast back in the second half of 2017. Waiting until the summer of 2018 to read it seemed unbearable.
It's fair to say that Visible Empire was one of my most anticipated reads of this year, so I'm a bit confused as to how to even write this review. Looking back, it definitely didn't live up to the high expectations I'd been setting myself up for, but then again, I can't exactly pin down the one reason why I didn't enjoy it as much as I was expecting to. I ...more