book cover of Cyclorama
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A novel by

The deeply moving, propulsive story of ten teenagers brought together by a high school production of The Diary of Anne Frank that will shape and influence the rest of their lives.

Evanston, Illinois, 1982. A group of students at a magnet high school meet to audition for the spring play. They are eager for the chance to escape their difficult everyday lives. Declan, an experienced senior, is confident he'll get his first-choice role, but when the capricious, charismatic drama director casts Franklin, an unknown underclassman-and the two are seen alone at the director's house-a series of events that will haunt the cast for years begins to unfold.

2016. The actors have moved on with their lives. Some are wildly successful, some never left their hometown, and some just want to be left alone. Everything changes, however, when one former cast member comes forward with an allegation dating back to the time of the play. The consequences of this public revelation will be far-reaching and complex, reverberating through all of their lives in unexpected ways.

Cyclorama is a deeply compelling story of ordinary people that brilliantly cuts to the core of what makes us who we are and how our pasts reverberate into our present and future. With remarkable tenderness and humanity, Langer reveals how the traumas of our youth continue to echo throughout our lives, in our politics, in our careers, and in ourselves.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"I tore through Adam Langer's Cyclorama in a weekend. It's compelling, heartfelt, has immaculate pacing, and the characters feel real and important. Truly a rewarding reading experience." - Jami Attenberg

"Fluidly written, formally inventive, by turns caustic and kind, tender and funny-Cyclorama offers up a kaleidoscopic array of characters who contend with timeless moral dilemmas and the present American moment. It's as smart and accomplished a novel as I've come across in recent years." - David Bezmozgis

"In this propulsive novel that explores the fallout of adolescent trauma, Langer evokes his vast array of characters with the deepest empathy and beautifully conjures Chicago in the 80's. Cyclorama is ambitious in its scope and does what all great art does: it helps us understand who we are as we struggle through this moment." - Jai Chakrabarti

"In its evocation of Chicago in the 1980s, and in its understanding of how the past forever hangs over us-culturally, politically, and personally-Cyclorama is both astute and winning. Adam Langer writes about a vast array of characters, every one of whom comes remarkably to life. This is a dazzlingly good book." - Joshua Henkin

"At once ambitious and compassionate, Cyclorama is Adam Langer's best novel yet. Langer's meticulous, almost hypnotic powers of observation reveal people as well as times and places in almost granular detail. The result is an affecting novel of unusual power." - Nicholas Meyer

"Cyclorama is an engaging novel, full of funny, sweet, arrogant, flawed humans behaving very badly indeed. Adam Langer has created a tender coming-of-age story with sharp teeth; I loved it." - Audrey Niffenegger

"From the incomparable Adam Langer comes a novel firmly rooted in the present, and yet here the past not only haunts, it nearly dictates. And doesn't it? Langer has captured, in these pages, the true weight of the past. I found Cyclorama to be propulsive, generous to its flawed souls, and, finally, incredibly moving." - Peter Orner

"Adam Langer is that rare combination of a writer. He has a sharp eye to details and explores human relations with keen insight and wry humor, and at the same time shows profound compassion to our fragile existences and longings." - Elif Shafak

"I've been a huge fan of Adam Langer's ever since his brilliant debut Crossing California. Cyclorama once again confirms that he's a writer who can do anything--ten points of view spanning 34 years all centered around a high school play of Anne Frank. It's a novel that investigates how adolescent trauma manifests itself though adulthood; it's also impossible to put down." - Willy Vlautin

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