In an America where the miraculous is par for the course, where magic and myths are as real as shopping malls and television game shows, Jennifer Mazdan listens to the modern storytellers recite the tales of the Founders.
But when strange things start to happen and Jennie becomes pregnant - from a dream - she enters a struggle which threatens her own life and causes her to question everything she has ever learned.
This compelling, surrealistic fantasy takes place in the U.S. 87 years after a second Revolution--mystical, feminist and green; in this America, the laws of nature embrace miracles as everyday but honored occurrences, which are monitored and controlled by the Spiritual Development Agency. Picture Tellers--icons who have replaced film and rock stars in the public's affection--recount tales of the Founders, such as Mohandas Quark, who overcame technophiles and secularists to bring about the Living World. Yet much here remains familiar. One of the towers of the World Trade Center belongs to the Association of Oracles and Speakers, while the other holds the modern electronics panoply; a Bagel Nosh sells a sandwich called Founder's Delight. In Poughkeepsie, Jennifer Mazdan, nearly 30 and three years beyond the annulment of her marriage, has an unusual dream, finds herself miraculously pregnant and then is thwarted by mysterious forces when she seeks an abortion. She is fated to bear a child who will have unimagined effects on a complacent new order. Spinning her tale from strands of the commonplace and themes and rituals of many religions, Pollack ( 78 Degrees of Wisdom ) develops a new mythology for her skewed, strangely familiar society.