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About the book
  • Published: 30 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446497814
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 656

American Wife

The acclaimed word-of-mouth bestseller

The acclaimed word-of-mouth bestseller about the marriage of an American First Lady: A rich, utterly absorbing, powerful story of how an ordinary girl from an unremarkable town grows up to become First Lady of the Ubited States.

'My favourite book of the year' Kate Atkinson

The acclaimed word-of-mouth bestseller about the marriage of an American First Lady
On one of the most important days of her husband's presidency, Alice Blackwell considers the strange and unlikely path that has led them to the White House, and that has landed an ordinary girl from a small town into the most public of roles.

Weaving race, class, wealth and fate into a brilliant literary reimagining of the life of a reserved woman not unlike Laura Bush, American Wife is a remarkable novel that lays bare the pressures and contradictions of a marriage exposed in the global spotlight.

  • Pub date: 30 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446497814
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 656

About the Author

Curtis Sittenfeld

Curtis Sittenfeld's new novel is Rodham. She is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller American Wife, in which she painted a picture of an ordinary American girl – a thinly-disguised Laura Bush - who found herself married to a President. It was longlisted for the Orange Prize, as was her debut novel Prep. Her other books are Man of My Dreams, Sisterland (a Richard & Judy Book Club pick), Eligible, and the acclaimed short story collection You Think It, I’ll Say It. Her books are translated into 30 languages. She lives with her family in the American Mid-West.

Also by Curtis Sittenfeld

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Praise for American Wife

“Such an accomplished work of fiction... a thoughtful and compelling examination of the mechanics of family and marriage... Knowing and knowledgeable, yet also inventive and original, American Wife is a thrilling combination of history and surprises”


“Superbly well-written - one of the most absorbing books of the year”

Evening Standard

“Thoroughly enjoyable. The plot is beautifully paced, the writing quick, clear, absorbing... A sweeping saga”

The Times

“A powerful, utterly compelling and strangely moving fictional account of a First Lady who bears more than a passing resemblance to Laura Bush”

Daily Mirror

“I was utterly absorbed in this story of a political marriage and a wife who has her own reasons. Curtis Sittenfeld has thrown a powerful light on small town America and its misunderstood values”

Linda Grant, Booker shortlisted author of The Clothes on Their Backs

“My favourite book of the year”

Kate Atkinson

“A quietly riveting parable... thought-provoking, entertaining and full of subtle reflections on class and marriage”

Daily Mail

“A classic story, with a langorous pace and a fierce literary integrity... Sittenfeld has provided a plausible secret history of an American embarrassment - and a grand entertainment”

Joe Klein, author of Primary Colors

“American Wife is easily one of the best books written so far this century. It is honest, wonderful and smart as hell, the kind of book that you try to eke out to make it last as long as possible”


“This is one of the finest American novels of 2008”

New Statesman

“Curtis Sittenfeld is an amazing writer, and American Wife is a brave and moving novel about the intersection of private and public life in America. Ambitious and humble at the same time, Sittenfeld refuses to trivialize or simplify people, whether real or imagined”

Richard Russo

“The scope and detail of American Wife are reminiscent of Richard Russo. Like Russo, she creates characters from the ground up, ancestry, neighborhood, culture and all... Her characters are carefully rendered and the story is well-constructed”

Los Angeles Times

“Vastly entertaining... It is an intelligent, well-crafted, psychologically astute novel”

New York Sun

“Weaves fate, family, marriage, wealth and power into an absorbing story”

Mail on Sunday

“Utterly brilliant”


“This engagingly candid First Lady is belssed with so many attractive qualities that her story grips from the very beginning. Full marks to Curtis Sittenfeld”

Sunday Telegraph

“Best book: I was on the beach in Croatia recently and it was the one book that quite a few women were lying there reading. It was surreal”

Jenny Eclair, Best

“I truly can't believe what a great writer Sittenfeld is, she's fantastic”

Jenny Colgan, The Herald

“A deft, funny and revealing story... This clever and convincing portrait of human frailty is a reminder that perhaps none of us is what we might seem. An honest and insightful story of a marriage, and a refreshing take on recent history”


“When people ask for book recommendations I often press Curtis Sittenfeld’s magnificent third novel, American Wife, into their hands. This loosely fictionalised life of former first lady Laura Bush has a rare and magical combination of accessibility, wit and serious thinking.”

The Times

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