A Strange Object

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Our Secret Life in the Movies

A WHIP-SMART FICTION DEBUT, Our Secret Life in the Movies riffs on classic and cult cinema. Inspired by films from silent-era documentaries to music videos, the authors unfold a dual narrative about two boys growing up in the 1980s. Coming of age during the last days of the Cold War, these characters dream of space exploration and nuclear winter, Reaganomics and Dungeons & Dragons, Blade Runner and Red Dawn.

By turns witty, haunting, and lushly cinematic, Our Secret Life makes one thing very clear: we are in the movies, and the movies are in us.

“A beautiful aftershock of the movies.” —David Gordon Green

"Indelibly wrought."—Vogue.com,"The Best Under-the-Radar Books for Fall: 8 Indie Novels and Stories to Put on Your Reading List"

"Brilliant." —BBC.com, "Ten books to read in November"

"An intriguing, frequently affecting experiment that challenges its readers to think anew about sharpening and refracting their memories of both life and art."—Kirkus

“Wildly intelligent and deeply felt, Our Secret Life in the Movies gives us a fascinating look at American life, shot through an insightful and compassionate lens. After reading it, the world seems bigger. A tremendous book.” —Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans

“Reading Our Secret Life in the Movies is like finding a lost frequency on the AM dial. The voices you hear in this book are strange, hypnotic, and intensely American." —Jim Gavin, author of Middle Men

"A book of poignant and affecting beauty. Readers are presented with characters who are losing their innocence in lockstep with the changing nation they inhabit, and the end result is a book that provides great insight into both who we are and how we got this way. A remarkable achievement.” —Skip Horack, author of The Eden Hunter

"Our Secret Life in the Movies deftly weaves together the art of film and the art of fiction to create a literary-cinematic adventure that is hauntingly beautiful, dreamily inventive, and thrillingly original. These stories—fleet, striking, funny, moving—give us a vivid portrait of America in the 1980s and add up to a larger story about the myriad ways movies shape, embolden, and connect us."—Maud Casey, author of The Man Who Walked Away

Michael McGriff's books include Home Burial, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice selection; Dismantling the Hills; a translation of Tomas Tranströmer’s The Sorrow Gondola; and an edition of David Wevill’s essential writing, To Build My Shadow a Fire. He is a former Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, and his work has been recognized with a Lannan Literary Fellowship and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

J. M. Tyree is the author of BFI Film Classics: Salesman, and the coauthor, with Ben Walters, of BFI Film Classics: The Big Lebowski, from the British Film Institute. His writing on cinema has been published in Sight & Sound, The Believer, and Film Quarterly. A former Truman Capote–Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University, he currently works as an associate editor of New England Review.