MOMENTUM: Ackerman’s most recent novel, Waiting for Eden, garnered ecstatic reviews and landed on many best-of-year lists. It was a bookseller and librarian favorite: an Indie Next pick and finalist for the Indies Choice Award for Adult Fiction, an Amazon Book of the Month, the selection for several first edition clubs, and an ALA Notable Book. Ackerman was a speaker at BEA’s Librarians’ Breakfast.
SUBJECT: Though the interplay between the personal and the political has always been Ackerman’s subject, this is his first novel to occupy a space completely separate from war, a shift in direction for him that many readers may find more accessible.
SETTING: The author lived and worked as a journalist in Istanbul and witnessed firsthand Turkey’s most significant political upheaval in decades. He brings the city—and all its contradictions—to vivid life on the page, setting the novel at a pivotal moment in the wake of the now-infamous Gezi Park protests.
COMPS: A novel for those drawn to international settings and taut drama: for readers of Katie Kitamura, Adam Haslett, Elif Batuman, Garth Greenwell, Andre Dubus III.
AUTHOR: A decorated military veteran, Ackerman is a regular contributor to CNN and other media outlets, and a compelling, articulate advocate for his work.
OTHER PUBLICATIONS: Penguin Press is publishing a collection of Ackerman’s memoiristic essays, Places and Names: On War, Revolution, and Returning, in June 2019. Vintage is planning their paperback of Eden for fall 2019.
“Cunning, atmospheric and filled with surprises in ways that call to mind the fiction of Joseph Conrad and John le Carré. Partly an ethical Rorschach test and partly a thriller in the vein of The Year of Living Dangerously, it’s the best novel yet from Ackerman… It’s also a ton of tangled fun…Splendidly gnarly.” —Seattle Times
“Shrewd, intricately plotted, propulsive…Ackerman has been compared with Hemingway, for the clarity of his prose and his international settings. And there’s something of Graham Greene, too.” —Washington Post
“Having worked so impressively at overturning the conventions of war fiction, Ackerman has now written a novel without a single soldier in it…He’s decided on a different sort of drama, a territory of intrigue and tricks, entirely absorbing, with other sources of suspense…Ackerman’s rich knowledge of Turkey is evident on every page.” —New York Times Book Review
“At once suspenseful and delicate, Red Dress in Black and White deftly depicts love in a brutal time.” —Elle.com
“Full of political intrigue, extramarital affairs, and unfulfilled ambition.” —The Millions
“The whole book is taut, balanced between order and chaos, just like Istanbul in that summer of 2013.” —Associated Press
“This absolutely riveting novel moves rapidly…An attention-grabbing, cleverly plotted, character-driven yarn…In Agatha Christie fashion, Ackerman gathers his characters for what appears to be the grand finale but saves the true reveal for the very end.” —Library Journal (starred)
“Ackerman’s trademark prose evocatively captures the strained nature of contemporary Turkish life…Deftly hints at a shadowy world that exists just out of frame and is one that lives long in the memory.” —Booklist
“Deftly plotted.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Red Dress in Black and White asks thought-provoking questions about the place of power both in love and in politics. For those who witnessed it, it is impossible to forget Gezi; same goes for this book.” —Özgür Mumcu, columnist for Cumhuriyet and best-selling author of Peace Machine
“Remarkable…Mesmerizing…The story may be a tragedy, but reads like a finely layered mystery…At the end is the sort of revelatory surprise reminiscent of M. Night Shyamalan’s film The Sixth Sense …The more I contemplate this work, the more I get the sense that I could spend a year unpacking its intricacies and still not be finished…If his newest offering is indicative of what is to come, we have, in Ackerman, an emerging master of the form.” —John R. Coats, Consequence Magazine
“Formidable…Ackerman precisely traverses a labyrinth of privilege, manipulation, complicity, crisis, to offer readers a crucial, immersive novel of indelible resonance.”—Terry Hong, Shelf Awareness (starred)
“Ackerman has long since established himself as the warrior-poet of modern American interventionism. He is a master of painfully intimate portraits of despair, and his words have the authority, and often the weariness, of lived experience…Ackerman weaves his tale together gradually, layering in the revealing details, tightening the screws to press against the fragility of each character’s tenuous circumstance…His intimate knowledge [of Istanbul] shines through, making that schizophrenic city—with one foot in Europe, the other in Asia—one of the most compelling portraits the author paints.” —Jennifer Bort Yacovissi, Washington Independent Review of Books
“The complications of parenthood make for rich novelistic themes. Elliot Ackerman mines them judiciously in his new novel…The novel’s sections alternate kaleidoscopically between past and present, with prose that is spare and vivid…Kristin’s personal motives are masterfully revealed in the end, lending her a depth that a mere CIA operative would otherwise lack.”—Eve Ottenberg, Washington City Paper
“Tim O’Brien and Elliot Ackerman are connected as great writers whose writing has been influenced by their time in fields of fire…What elevates Red Dress in Black and White is Ackerman’s writing.”—Drew Gallagher, Fredericksburg Freelance-Star
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