All That Road Going
All That Road Going
In the middle of the night, somewhere in Oklahoma--or is it Missouri?--a bus hurtles down an anonymous American highway. Its passengers, among them two children traveling on their own, a retired salesman, an unwed teenage mother, an unemployed chemist, and the driver who ferries and broods over all of them, are in the middle of their journeys. Soon, two of the passengers will be lost, and then the bus itself will lose its way.
The open road and, before that, the open frontier have long been part of the American romance, cherished features of the nation's traditional vision of itself. In her latest novel, A. G. Mojtabai stands this tradition on its head. Instead of the expansive thrust into unknown territory, the camaraderie of the open road, adventure, and the joys of vagabondage, we witness constriction, isolation, and fear. Instead of freedom, we find people fleeing from coast to coast in search of home and the ever-beckoning, ever-retreating promise of a better life. Richly drawn, evocative, and thought-provoking, All That Road Going is a challenging new departure from the road novel canon.
"A.G. Mojtabai has always been one of our most interesting writers, turning her eye towards vistas others have missed, and also plunking a stone in the pond for the perfect little tossed-away detail that radiates. This book is wonderful: carefully crafted but seeming to transpire in real time, filled with many characters so complete, you would think only a few could be brought to life in a novel of this length. It's about our society, too--you can't miss that. Those who complain that the contemporary American novel has no social conscience will see, here, that a writer does not have to overtly address political and social issues, but can offer a subtle critique. I envy her the ability to write so well." -Ann Beattie
"All that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it." -Jack Kerouac, On the Road
"From its engagingly simple opening to its affecting ending, there is not a moment of false emotion. In a masterfully paced narrative, Grace Mojtabai takes us on a journey deep into the lives of ordinary Americans." -J. M. Coetzee