Thursday, July 06, 2017

What is Estep Nagy reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Estep Nagy, author of We Shall Not All Sleep: A Novel.

His entry begins:
I’ve been re-reading Livy’s History of Rome, specifically the Oxford World Classics volume called Hannibal’s War.

That war (between Rome and Carthage, ca. 200 BC) lasted nearly twenty years, during most of which the Carthaginian general Hannibal occupied much of Italy. On a few occasions, Hannibal nearly captured Rome itself. Like all existential crises, that war produced impressive personalities who rose to the occasion. I’m especially drawn to Publius Cornelius Scipio, later known as Scipio Africanus, who took over the Spanish front of that war at a very young age (24!) after the horrific deaths of his father and uncle, who were generals there before him. Like Julius Caesar 150 years later, Scipio was a thoughtful leader with preternatural talents for...[read on]
About We Shall Not All Sleep, from the publisher:
Seven Island has two houses. One for Hillsingers and one for Quicks.

1964. The Hillsingers and the Quicks have shared the small Maine island of Seven for generations. But though technically family--Jim Hillsinger and Billy Quick married Park Avenue sisters Lila and Hannah Blackwell--they do not mix. Now, on the anniversary of Hannah's death, Lila feels grief pulling her toward Billy. And Jim, a spy recently ousted from the CIA on suspicion of treason, decides to carry out the threat his wife has explicitly forbidden: to banish their youngest son, the twelve-year-old Catta, to the neighboring island of Baffin for twenty-four hours in an attempt to make a man out of him.

With their elders preoccupied, the Hillsinger and Quick children run wild, playing violent games led by Catta's sadistic older brother James. The island manager Cyrus and the servants tend to the families while preparing for the Migration, a yearly farming ritual that means one thing to their employers, and something very different to them.

Set during three summer days, Estep Nagy's debut novel moves among the communities of Seven as longstanding tensions become tactical face-offs in which everything is fair game for ammunition. Vividly capturing the rift between the cold warriors of Jim's generation and the rebellious seekers of Catta's, We Shall Not All Sleep is a richly told story of American class, family, and manipulation--a compelling portrait of a unique and privileged WASP stronghold on the brink of dissolution.
Visit Estep Nagy's website.

The Page 69 Test: We Shall Not All Sleep.

Writers Read: Estep Nagy.

--Marshal Zeringue