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Jay Neugeboren

The American Sun & Wind Moving Picture Company
Texas Tech University Press
Modern Jewish Literature and Culture

The most magical and original look at the movies since Hugo and The Artist.

The American Sun & Wind Moving Picture Company is an enchanting tale set in the silent film era. Beginning in 1915, in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where a Jewish family makes one and two reel silent films, the novel is composed of six chapters, each a discrete silent film in itself.

Joey, the too-beautiful-to-be-a-boy son of moviemaker, Simon, and his actress wife, Hannah, imagines stories that his uncle's camera turns into scenes for their movies. Witness to and participant in the rapid technological advances in film, from the movies his family makes, to the advent of the talkies, Joey is cast in both male and female roles, onstage and off. When the woman Joey loves murders her abusive husband and sends Joey from his New Jersey family disguised as the mother of her own children, he embarks on a cross-country journey of adventure and hardship, crossing paths with the likes of D. W. Griffith, Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, and "Roxy" Rothafel. Finally, reunited on the opposite coast with his uncle, and with the woman he has never stopped loving, Joey's wild journey--and life!--arrive at a moment as unpredictable as it is magical.

In an outrageously original tale worthy of a studio whose moguls might have been Kafka, Garcia Marquez, and Isaac Bashevis Singer, reality and illusion merge and separate, leaving the audience spellbound even after the final curtain falls.

The American Sun & Wind Moving Picture Company is a beautifully written, carefully thought--out novel that recreates the wonder of the early days of the movies. Anybody interested in the craft of writing, reading about the lives of brilliantly imagined people, and the magic of silent movies, should read this novel.
--Frederick Wiseman, filmmaker: Titicut Follies, La Danse, Crazy Horse, etc.

Neugeboren presents a meditation on life, love, art and family relationships that's reminiscent of the best of John Updike.
--Kirkus Reviews [Starred]

Jay Neugeboren [writes] with all the skill and formal daring that have made him one of our most honored writers of literary fiction.
--The Los Angeles Times

JAY NEUGEBOREN is the author of twenty books, including two prize-winning novels (The Stolen Jew, Before My Life Began), two award-winning books of nonfiction (Imagining Robert, Transforming Madness), and four collections of award-winning stories. His stories and essays have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The American Scholar, Ploughshares, Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, etc. His novel, 1940, published in 2008, was long-listed for the Impac Dublin International Literary Prize. His most recent novel, The Other Side of the World, was published in December 2012. He lives in New York City. (Author photograph credit: Michael B. Friedman.)

Agent: Richard Parks, PO Box 693, Salem, NY 12865

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