In the fall of 1969, on Sunset Boulevard, a giant billboard advertised the newly released album, Abbey Road. Shortly after it appeared, Paul McCartney's head was cut off the display, mysteriously disappearing. Set against that backdrop, Rejoice the Head of Paul McCartney is about more than a specific incident or snapshot of history, it is a story of people and a generation being shaped by their times. Through its ensemble cast, we see how that moment of desecrating the symbol of an era affects the lives of the characters over the course of several decades. Some characters are drawn to confronting the challenges, while others are trying to escape them. But all are affected by the specter of the missing Paul McCartney head. Written in a series of suites, the novel weaves a recurring collection of characters that range from a young couple trying to make their place in an unsteady world, to a student who mistakenly is assumed to be a domestic terrorist, to a battered couple who won't leave a guest room, to a movie legend and his aspiring acting son. As in life, the narratives of all the characters intrude on and interrupt each other's efforts to negotiate the end of a tumultuous decade, while trying to find their ways in the years that follow. Told in a variety of voices and styles, Rejoice the Head of Paul McCartney is about finding solace and hope during times that seem short on hope.
"Adam Braver's Rejoice the Head of Paul McCartney brilliantly captures the fragmented intensity of late '60s California — and the US — in its idealism, exhilaration, violence and despair. This memorable novel recreates the heady energy of that time, as well as its uneasy legacy; and speaks powerfully to our contemporary moment."
—Claire Messud, author The Emperor's Children, & The Woman Upstairs
"Adam Braver writes about history and consciousness, and he balances these with a gentle and pitch-perfect moral consciousness. The results are sophisticated, subtle, nuanced, and very moving. When I want to know what a beautifully tuned literary voice feels about being alive, I go back and reread Adam's work. I am never disappointed."
— Rick Moody, author of The Ice Storm, & Hotels of North America
"Adam Braver blends history and fiction in this striking portrait of an era on the brink. Along with offering fascinating accounts of what the ensemble of characters actually do, this dramatic novel give readers the chance to reflect on what these women and men choose not to do, and fail to do, and want to do but are discouraged from doing. The result is a moving, illuminating, relevant book."
— Joanna Scott, author of Careers for Women, & The Manikin
"I've now read all of Adam Braver's books, and this might be the best. And that's saying a lot, since I've long thought he's one of the finest writers in the country, an artist who time after time notices what the rest of us miss."
—Steve Yarborough, author of the The Realm of Last Chances, & Stay Gone Days
Adam Braver is the author of seven novels. His books have been selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers program, Borders' Original Voices series, the IndieNext list, and twice for the Book Sense list, as well as having been translated into French, Italian, Japanese, Turkish, and Russian. Braver's fiction and essays have appeared in journals such as Daedalus, Ontario Review, Cimarron Review, Water-Stone Review, Harvard Review, Tin House, The Normal School, West Branch, The Pinch, and Post Road. He serves as the Library Program Director at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI, where he is also on faculty. Additionally, Braver teaches at the New York State Summer Writers Institute.