Jayne Anne Phillips’s
“A remarkable novelist debut and an enduring literary achievement.… Its subject is history and the passage of time—as mirrored in the fortunes of the Hampson family, whose own dissolution reflects the dislocations suffered by this country in the wake of the 1960s and Vietnam.… This astonishing book establishes Jayne Anne Phillips as a novelist of the first order.”
The New York Times
“Reaches one’s deepest emotions. No number of books read or films seen can deaden one to the intimate act of art by which this wonderful young writer has penetrated the definitive experience of her generation.”
“A story of conflict and love, of dreams put on perpetual hold, of losing faith with America but not with Americans … a book so deeply felt, so vividly imagined, that its characters seem not created at all but people breathing.…
shines with quiet eloquence … a rare and important work of fiction.”
would be among the year’s best-written novels was easy to predict; that it is among the wisest of a generation’s attempts to grapple with a war that maimed us all is a stunning surprise.”
The Village Voice Literary Supplement
“Astonishing and mysterious.… The fascination is in the telling.… Phillips expresses herself with clarity and grace: these lives matter.”
seems itself a thing in flight: gliding above the American landscape, illuminating a time and our own collective dream.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“A novel so brilliant it sticks in your head long after you have read it.… The compassion is so strong here that everyone is forgiven; Jayne Anne Phillips’ genius is to bring it home with such art and beauty and attention to detail that you can’t help but say ‘Wow! This is gorgeous!’ ”
Los Angeles Times
is a plain American beauty.”
“An intensely American, beautifully written first novel. Southern voices … so true, and their experiences so fundamental to the hurly-burly of family life, that this novel is one of the finest in contemporary fiction.”
The Wall Street Journal
“One’s first reaction to this novel is the general pleasure that fine writing affords; then, gradually, a deepening perception of the ironies of existence, communicated through the experiences of ordinary people; and finally there comes a lump in the throat and an almost palpable ache in the heart, in recognition of the vision of life that Phillips, with a fierce gentleness, lays bare.”
Jayne Anne Phillips
Jayne Anne Phillips was born and raised in West Virginia. She is the author of two novels and two collections of stories. She is the recipient of the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Bunting Institute fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in fiction. Her work has been translated into fourteen languages.
Jayne Anne Phillips
The Secret Country
How Mickey Made It
FIRST VINTAGE CONTEMPORARIES EDITION, NOVEMBER 1999
Copyright © 1984 by Jayne Anne Phillips
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. Originally published in hardcover in the United States by E. P. Dutton, Inc., New York, in 1984.
Vintage is a registered trademark and Vintage Contemporaries and colophon are trademarks of Random House, Inc.
Owing to limitations of space, all acknowledgments of permission to reprint previously published material will be found on this page .
The author wishes to express her thanks to The Ingram Merrill Foundation, The Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown for support during the writing of this work. She also wishes to thank Rick Ducey, U.S. Army, Retired, and Geoffrey M. Boehm, helicopter pilot, First Cav., Vietnam, for their time and consideration.
Portions of this book have appeared in
The Atlantic Monthly
Grand Street. The Secret Country: Mitch
was published as a limited edition by Palaemon Press,
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