Thomas Mallon

novelist and critic

Selected Works

Fiction
Finale is the book that Thomas Mallon's work has been building toward for years. It is the most entertaining and panoramic novel about American politics since Advise and Consent, more than a half century ago.
"Mallon himself is deliciously witty. But it is his political fluency and unstinting empathy that transform the Watergate debacle into a universal tragicomedy of ludicrous errors and malignant crimes, epic hubris and sorrow." --Booklist (starred review)
"Some of the most lucid prose in contemporary American literature . . . [Mallon's] best book yet."
--Los Angeles Times
"Retro in style, modern in sensibility, compact, imaginative, and wildly entertaining."
--San Francisco Chronicle
Essays
“An astute, exhilarating tour of the mailbag . . . a charming, discursive delight. ‘Yours Ever’ is nuanced, informed, full-blooded, a vigorous literary salute."
--New York Times Book Review

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Works


Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years
From the author of the acclaimed novel, Watergate, a galvanizing new novel about the tumultuous administration of the most consequential and enigmatic president of modern times.

ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES’ 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2015
A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK OF 2015
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH--BEST FICTION BOOKS OF 2015
THE DAILY BEAST--BEST FICTION OF 2015
MIAMI HERALD--ONE OF FIVE FAVORITE FICTION BOOKS OF 2015

Finale takes readers to the political gridiron of Washington in 1986; the wealthiest enclaves of southern California; and the volcanic landscape of Iceland, where the president engages in two almost apocalyptic days of negotiation with Mikhail Gorbachev. Along with Soviet dissidents, illegal arms-traders and anti-nuclear activists, the novel’s memorable characters include Margaret Thatcher, Jimmy Carter, Pamela Harriman, John W. Hinckley and even Bette Davis, with whom the President long ago appeared onscreen. Several figures—including a humbled, crafty Richard Nixon; the young, brilliantly acerbic Christopher Hitchens; and an anxious, astrology-dependent Nancy Reagan—become the eyes through which readers see the last convulsions of the Cold War, the AIDS epidemic, a clash of ideologies and a political revolution. At the center of it all—but forever out of reach—is Reagan himself, whose genial remoteness confounds his subordinates, his children, and the citizens who elected him.


Watergate: A Novel
In Watergate: A Novel, Thomas Mallon conveys the drama and high comedy of the Nixon presidency through the urgent perspectives of seven characters we only thought we knew before now, moving readers from the private cabins of Camp David to the klieg lights of the Senate Caucus Room, from the District of Columbia Jail to the Dupont Circle mansion of Theodore Roosevelt's sharp-tongued ninety-year-old daughter, and into the hive of the Watergate complex itself, home not only to the Democratic National Committee but also to the president's attorney general, his recklessly loyal secretary, and the shadowy man from Mississippi who pays out hush money to the burglars. Mallon achieves with Watergate a scope and historical intimacy that surpasses even what he attained in his previous novels, as he turns a "third-rate burglary" into a tumultuous, first-rate entertainment.

Fellow Travelers
From the highly acclaimed author of Bandbox and Dewey Defeats Truman -- a searing new historical novel about the competing claims of faith, love, and politics during the McCarthy era.

Yours Ever: People and Their Letters
From the author of A Book of One's Own and Stolen Words comes a delightful and wide-ranging investigation of the art of letter-writing. Yours Ever explores the offhand masterpieces dispatched through the ages by messenger, postal service, and BlackBerry. Thomas Mallon weaves a remarkable assortment of epistolary riches into his own insightful and eloquent commentary on the circumstances and characters of the world's most intriguing letter writers.

Bandbox
A dazzling, hilarious novel that captures the heart and soul of New York in the Jazz Age.

Bandbox is a hugely successful magazine, a glamorous monthly cocktail of 1920s obsessions from the stock market to radio to gangland murder. Edited by the bombastic Jehoshaphat "Joe" Harris, the magazine has a masthead that includes, among many others, a grisly, alliterative crime writer; a shy but murderously determined copyboy; and a burned-out vaudeville correspondent who's lovesick for his loyal, dewy assistant.

Thomas Mallon has given us a madcap and poignant book that brilliantly portrays the gaudiest American decade of them all.