Unique, deeply personal and visionary, an extraordinary work of fiction, written in conversation with some of the greatest war narratives.
The bitter end of the 1960s: JFK’s third term in office. Vietnam rages on. A new federal agency, the Psych Corps, maintains the nation’s mental health by wiping soldiers’ memories through drugs and therapy, while those beyond help roam at will, re-enacting atrocities on civilians.
This is the vision of Eugene Allen, a twenty-two-year-old Vietnam vet, writing this book-within-a-book at the heart of Hystopia. Hystopia reveals the crazy reality of trauma, both national and personal.
David Means' second collection of stories, Assorted Fire Events, earned the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction and a National Book Critics Circle nomination. His third book, The Secret Goldfish, received widespread critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize. His fourth book, The Spot, was selected as a 2010 Notable Book by The New York Times, and won an O. Henry Prize. His books have been translated into eight languages, and his fiction has appeared The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Esquire, Zoetrope, The Best American Short Stories,The Best American Mystery Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and numerous other publications. He lives in Nyack, New York, and teaches at Vassar College.