These Dreams of You
One November night in a canyon outside L.A., Zan Nordhoc — a failed novelist turned pirate-radio DJ — sits before the television with his small, adopted black daughter, watching the election of his country's first black president. In the nova of this historic moment, with an economic recession threatening their home, Zan, his wife and their son set out to solve the enigma of a little girl whose body is a radio, broadcasting a future rhythm & blues that circles the sphere of time. Scattered across two continents, the family meets a mysterious stranger with a secret who sends the story spiraling forty years into the past, from '60s London to '70s Berlin, from the ground zero of civilization to a New World mid-air in its leap of imagination.
"A striking piece of work, fast-moving and far-reaching."
"Truly electrifying. In its gorgeous, vivid prose and its acutely sensitive soul, These Dreams of You shows us just what a novel can still do in our own crazy times."
The Boston Globe
"Actions echo across time, continents and realities...a series of endless, astounding tessellations.... The four central characters who provide the messy, vibrant heart of These Dreams of You make up a representative tableau for the new millennium: the American family as mash-up."
New York Times Book Review
"Drama filled with exuberance...the story is wild enough to do justice to the paradoxes and swings of our 'democrazy'...Erickson’s jagged, jazzy voice is his own."
The Washington Post
"Beautiful, elegiac...threads and characters serendipitously stumble through a missing-link chain of coincidences, with mazes and labyrinths both real and imagined...a complex and imaginative literary tapestry about family and identity."
Kirkus (starred review)
"Deftly weaves a larger tale that reaches back to the 1960s and an earlier, equally transformative presidential candidacy. Erickson’s skillful use of metafictional techniques, coincidences and resonances expands the story into an absorbing meditation on narrative itself."
The New Yorker
"Hypnotic...powerful...makes us wonder and cheer enthusiastically about the strange and more than coincidental thing we call life itself."
All Things Considered, NPR
"Erickson is superb at striking emotional notes, conjuring up historical figures, and ruminating on race and identity.... These Dreams of You pushes against the idea of the novel as a stagnated medium by flexing its own vitality."
"Magnificent. These Dreams of You is a big novel of big ideas — emotionally capacious and desperately relevant. As readers rush headlong toward its climax, they may feel as if they have emerged from something like a fever dream, as torrents of ideas and images wash over them (read in as few sittings as possible for maximum effect)."
New York Journal of Books
"These Dreams of You may well be today’s Great American Novel. Not just for its portraiture of universal American dreams and anxieties; not for its social scope; nor for its historical and political topicality, in which it deals in spades, but rather because of its painful sincerity, its humble recognition of human failings, and its continued hope that it is not too late. [The] final, choking passage...belongs in the same league as the conclusions of The Great Gatsby, On the Road and Vineland....”
Los Angeles Review of Books
"The dreams in Steve Erickson's new novel are those of ancient times and today — to hold onto love and home and family, to protect the soft-skinned descendants of man and woman with all the ferocity and resilience we own, and to wander the earth if necessary to save them. I read this book in one day — one day that remains like a shifting panorama in my head. The visions of southern California canyons, of London and Berlin and Addis Ababa, of the present and past all woven together in kaleidoscopic brilliance, prove Steve Erickson's mastery and his passion."