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In a desperate effort to liberate herself, a fourteen-year-old slave—mistress to the man who invented America—finds herself flung into a different time and world

Steve Erickson’s provocative reimagining of American history, Arc d’X begins with the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. With “skin . . . too white to be quite black and too black to be quite white,” Sally is loved only to the extent that she can be possessed, and finds hope only in the promise that her children’s lives will be different from her own. The couple’s paradox-riven union echoes through the ages and in an alternate epoch where time plays by other rules. In Aeonopolis, a theocratic city at the foot of a volcano, priests seek to have Sally indicted, and in an emptied-out Berlin, the Wall is being rebuilt. Dizzyingly imaginative, Arc d’X is an unrivaled exploration of “the pursuit of happiness.”

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