Big Dogs and Flyboys by Sam Michel
A Novel

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"Adam Oney, the hero of Sam Michel's bittersweet debut novel, is rightly named after that first namer. His other forebear is Icarus, only in this version, the boy survives to tell his own story with surpassing compassion for all."--Christine Schutt

Narrated by eighteen-year-old Adam Oney from his hospital bed in a burn unit, Sam Michel's debut novel centers around two boys, one black, one white. They meet as eight-year-olds on an Air Force base in the Nevada desert where they share the bond of wanting to fly, like Adam's father in his Phantom F-4 fighter. Mike, who's black, is the son of a former fighter jet mechanic who nurtures his bitterness at being forced out of the military. The two boys navigate their childhood through obdurately fixed constellations of race and class. Adam loses his father to martinis and his fabled past, his mother to Reverend Marsh. He also faces the loss of Mike's friendship, and he very nearly loses his life. Throughout it all, Adam is buoyed by his talent for happiness and the strength of his dreams of flight. This is a story of love and loss, betrayal and hope, and the human spirit's desire to forgive and to sustain its early passions.


About Sam Michel

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Sam Michel is the author of Under the Light, a collection of stories (Knopf), Lincoln Dahl Turns Five (Tyrant Books), and Big Dogs and Flyboys (Southern Methodist University Press). His fiction has appeared in The Massachusetts Review, The New York Tyrant, Epoch, and elsewhere. In 2008 Sam Michel won the Lidano Fiction Award--a contest for the best short fiction of the year. Sam Michel studied writing under Gordon Lish, who championed his writing and published Michel's first collection at Knopf. He received his MFA degree from the University of Florida.
Published July 30, 2007 by Southern Methodist University Press. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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