Award-winning author Tim O’Brien is set to release his first novel in more than two decades.
Mariner announced it will publish O’Brien’s America Fantastica this fall. The press describes the book as “a brilliant and rollicking odyssey.”
O’Brien, who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, made his literary debut in 1973 with the memoir If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home. His first novel, Northern Lights, followed two years later.
He went on to write the novels Going After Cacciato, which won the National Book Award, and The Nuclear Age, before publishing the novel-in-stories The Things They Carried in 1990. That book became a bestseller and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent novel, July, July, was published in 2002.
America Fantastica follows a disgraced journalist-turned-department store manager who robs a bank and kidnaps a teller, taking her to Mexico and then Minnesota.
“American Fantastica has been stewing inside me for two decades,” O’Brien said. “I had hoped to avoid forever the agonies of writing another novel—all those hours of isolation and frustration and way too many cigarettes. But the book’s characters kept needling me, kept bragging about themselves.”
O’Brien’s novel is slated for publication on Oct. 24.
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.