Steve Erickson: Shadowbahn

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In Shadowbahn (Blue Rider Press), Steve Erickson's intense, absorbing novel, the Twin Towers suddenly re-appear in the Dakota Badlands. People come from all over the world to see them. Some hear music coming for the Towers. Some don't. Jesse Presley, the still-born twin of Elvis, lives in the top of one tower. Although handsome, he has no singing voice. The world of the novel is a parallel America where Elvis, himself, never lived. A wheelchair-bound John Kennedy never becomes president. This road novel is a trip through a phantom country where the American dream was never realized. According to Erickson, America has to re-imagine itself every 75 years as it careens between self-betrayal and self-redemption. The novel re-examines American identity as popular music begins to fade. No Elvis, no Elvis-influenced Beatles, no Louis Armstrong.

Read an excerpt from Shadowbahn.