Hologram: A Novel
A phantasmagoric dream of a novel, exploring the mind of a housewife enamored of historical personages, twisted love stories, and strange conspiracies
Mrs. Hollingsworth sits at her kitchen table, compiling her grocery list. The subject of the list is not foodstuffs, but memories that never happened, inventions of loves, and strange conspiracies peopled by men who appear in the lonely housewife’s head—men infinitely more real to her than her own husband. Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest gallops into her story, courtesy of media giant Ted Turner and two shady criminal types named Bundy and Oswald who are engaged in a secret experiment to create “the New Southerner.”
Her prying daughters believe Mrs. Hollingsworth is losing her mind. But in truth, their mother is simply looking for love via hand-to-hand combat on the surreal battlefield inside her head.
Originally published as Mrs. Hollingsworth’s Men, Padgett Powell’s Hologram is a stunning literary achievement. Strikingly unique, it is a poignant, funny, and unconventional fever dream brought to lyrical life.
Praise & Reviews
“A slim, sly deceiver of a book, full of mirth and wickedness…Strong, often wizardly prose…Very funny…His characters always amuse us.”
—The New York Times
“A tour de force of wordplay and lucid description.”
—The New Yorker
“If there were a Beckett of the South, filing sexed-up reports on absurdity in a sassy biblical slang, it would have to be Padgett Powell.”
—Voice Literary Supplement