American Fallout


“A big, ambitious, important book…compulsively readable.”
-Matthew Norman, author of Domestic Violets

“poignant … a promising first novel about family, domesticity, and the ties that bind, whether we want them to or not.”
-Kirkus Reviews

American Fallout is a powerful novel that refrains from generalized questions and neat answers.”
Foreword Reviews

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About the Book:

For Avery Cullins—library archivist, former teenage runaway, and gay man from a small Southern town—family means a live-in boyfriend and a surly turtle. But when his father, a renowned nuclear physicist, commits suicide, Avery’s decade-long estrangement with his old family comes to an end. With his boyfriend’s help, Avery takes custody of his surviving mother, and together they head in a U-Haul back to their apartment in Cleveland toward a new, uncertain future. Their journey, however, soon becomes a pilgrimage into the past when Avery sifts through his parents’ love story to better understand his own. As the two stories entwine, Avery’s efforts to reprise his role as a son threaten to permanently alienate his partner, Freddie, and by the end, he risks losing both the life he has built and the familial love he wants to reclaim.

American Fallout offers a tragicomic tale of coping and reconciliation, a meditation on making families and re-making families in the changing domestic landscape of America.

Santa Fe Writers Project