January 2017 Indie Next List
“This multigenerational story is a road-trip novel, an ecological disaster drama, and a harrowing post-Iraq War PTSD portrait all rolled into one highly readable, gorgeously written book.
Raymond tells this story peering over the shoulders of three strong characters, each of whom have to reconcile feelings of love -- both romantic and familial -- with the brutal realities of life during wartime. Despite its dark turns, Freebird is a book filled with hope for its characters as well as love for the real world it ably attempts to recreate and offer respite from.”
— John Francisconi (E), Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
"Freebird is such a timely book. considering the current deep divisions between right and left. A new classic for the collapsing political landscape of America."--Kim Gordon, author of Girl in a Band
The Singers, an all-American family in the California style, are about to lose everything. Anne is a bureaucrat in the Los Angeles Office of Sustainability whose ideals are compromised by a proposal from a venture capitalist seeking to privatize the city’s wastewater. Her brother, Ben, a former Navy SEAL, returns from Afghanistan disillusioned and struggling with PTSD, and starts down a path toward a radical act of violence. And Anne’s teenage son, Aaron, can’t decide if he should go to college or pitch it all and hit the road. They all live inside the long shadow of the Singer patriarch Grandpa Sam, whose untold experience of the Holocaust shapes his family’s moral character to the core.
Jon Raymond, screenwriter of the acclaimed films Meek’s Cutoff and Night Moves, combines these narrative threads into a hard-driving story of one family’s moral crisis. In Freebird, Raymond delivers a brilliant, searching novel about death and politics in America today, revealing how the fates of our families are irrevocably tied to the currents of history.
About the Author
Jon Raymond is the author of two novels, Rain Dragon and The Half-Life, and the short-story collection Livability. His work has appeared in Tin House, The Village Voice, Bookforum, and other places. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
No one writes sentences so graceful and characters so achingly real as Jon Raymond. Sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious, oftentimes at the same moment, Freebird is the gripping story of a dysfunctional family through which we better understand these dysfunctional times.
— Benjamin Percy