The book: Now and Again, a new novel by Charlotte Rogan ’75, features Maggie Rayburn, a wife, mother, and longtime secretary at a munitions plant in Oklahoma. Her world and her perspective are turned upside down when she finds proof of a high-level cover-up on her boss’s desk and impulsively takes it. Maggie starts to see injustice everywhere, but her small town has turned against her and she must decide how far she is willing to go for the truth.
Maggie’s story overlaps with that of Penn Sinclair, an Army captain and Ivy League graduate who is haunted by his own impetuous decision during a recent tour in Iraq. When he returns home, he reunites with former compatriots to expose the truth by launching wartruth.com, a website where everyone can share information and stories, but the more Penn and his fellow survivors uncover, the more unclear the way forward becomes.
The author: Charlotte Rogan ’75 studied architecture at Princeton and worked for a construction firm before focusing on fiction writing. She is the author of The Lifeboat, which was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and has been translated into 26 languages.
Opening lines: “Maggie Rayburn had just come from eating birthday cake in the employees’ lunchroom when a document sitting in plain sight on her boss’s desk caught her eye… Curiosity—was it a useful trait or a dangerous one? But who isn’t curious, she thought as she lifted the cover and peered inside: Discredit the doctors, she read. Flood the system with contradictory reports.”
Reviews: Teddy Wayne, author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine and Kapitoil, says, “With consummate command of narrative, Charlotte Rogan nimbly brings together whistleblowers and soldiers in a damning — and page-turning — critique of America’s military-industrial complex and its massive amount of collateral damage. It’s the novel we deserve for the war we didn’t.”