In this Book

The Americans
summary
David Roderick’s second book, The Americans, pledges its allegiance to dirt. And to laptops. And to swimming pools, the Kennedys, a flower in a lapel, plastic stars hanging from the ceiling of a child’s room, churning locusts, a jar of blood, a gleam of sun on the wing of a plane. His poems swarm with life. They also ask an unanswerable question: What does it mean to be an American? Restless against the borders we build—between countries, between each other—Roderick roams from place to place in order to dig into the messy, political, idealistic and ultimately inexplicable idea of American-ness. His rangy, inquisitive lyrics stitch together a patchwork flag, which he stakes alongside all the noise of our construction, our obsessive building and making, while he imagines the fate of a nation built on desire.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Series Page, Copyright Page, Dedication, Quote
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  1. CONTENTS
  2. pp. ix-2
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  1. Dear Suburb
  2. pp. 3-4
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  1. After de Tocqueville
  2. pp. 5-6
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  1. On the Bullet Train from Hiroshima
  2. p. 7
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  1. Letter to Shara in Amman
  2. pp. 8-9
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  1. Build Your Dream Home Here
  2. p. 10
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  1. California Clouds
  2. pp. 11-12
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  1. Dear Suburb
  2. p. 13
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  1. Target
  2. pp. 14-15
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  1. Love Field
  2. pp. 16-18
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  1. Ambassador Hotel
  2. pp. 19-20
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  1. Terra Incognita
  2. pp. 21-22
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  1. Pale Tornado
  2. pp. 23-24
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  1. Dear Suburb
  2. pp. 25-26
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  1. Self-Portrait as David Lynch
  2. pp. 27-28
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  1. In My Name
  2. pp. 29-31
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  1. Koi
  2. p. 32
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  1. Self-Portrait as David Hockney
  2. p. 33
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  1. Western Wind
  2. pp. 34-36
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  1. Pastoral
  2. p. 37
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  1. Akhmatova’s Ashtray
  2. pp. 38-39
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  1. 44 Standish Avenue
  2. pp. 40-41
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  1. 35 Miller Drive
  2. pp. 42-43
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  1. Green Fields
  2. pp. 44-48
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  1. 13 Pleasant Street
  2. p. 49
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  1. New Directive
  2. pp. 50-51
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  1. Landscape with Tyrian Purple
  2. pp. 52-53
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  1. Dear Suburb
  2. p. 54
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  1. Thoreau’s Beans
  2. pp. 55-56
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  1. As When Drought Imagines Fire
  2. p. 57
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  1. Passionflower
  2. pp. 58-62
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  1. Dear Suburb
  2. pp. 63-64
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  1. The Locusts
  2. p. 65
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  1. Running Brush
  2. p. 66
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  1. Dear Suburb
  2. p. 67
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  1. Eros and Dust
  2. p. 68
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  1. Running Brush
  2. p. 69
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  1. Faithful See Virgin Mary in Office Window
  2. pp. 70-74
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  1. NOTES
  2. pp. 75-76
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  1. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  2. pp. 77-78
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  1. Back Cover
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